FMI defende reestruturação da dívida privada e aponta para défice de 3,4%

Depois de a Comissão Europeia ontem ter avançado com um previsão de défice de 3,3% para Portugal, claramente acima da previsão inscrita pelo governo na proposta de Orçamento do Estado 2015 (ver “Défice 2015: Comissão Europeia não alinha com as previsões do Governo“), hoje é a vez do FMI no seu boletim “Portugal: Concluding Statement of the First Post-Program Monitoring Discussion “avançar com um défice ainda superior: 3,4%. Por um lado o cenário macroeconómico projetado pelo FMI é menos benigno que o do governo, por outro, reclama que o governo interrompe as reformas estruturais defendendo que no futuro será necessária mais austeridade para tentar reduzir o défice público.

O FMI critica a subida do salário mínimo dizendo que é injustificado face à existência de desemprego elevado, refere existirem setores que continuam protegidos e reconhece que ganhar competitividade externa sem moeda própria (deflação monetária) será extremamente difícil podendo ser alcançado apenas pela via das “reformas”. Sublinha que é necessário atacar o problema da dívida privada defendendo inclusive a reestruturação das dívidas ainda que tal implique perdas para a banca. Tal opção não é referida para enfrentar a dívida pública onde não há qualquer referência a uma reestruturação que pudesse implicar perdas dos credores, entre eles o FMI.

Destaca como constrangimentos “inefficient public administration, a slow judicial system, restrictive labor regulations, and lack of effective competition in local product markets.

Alguns excertos do boletim do FMI:

“(…) 3. At the same time, continuing fiscal consolidation and safeguarding financial stability have to remain priorities. In the staff’s assessment, the fiscal consolidation effort is poised to pause in 2015, further postponing the unavoidable additional fiscal adjustment needed to safeguard the sustainability of public debt. Given the legacies of high private sector leverage and resource misallocation, preserving financial stability will remain a challenging task, particularly if the economy’s growth bottlenecks are not tackled. (…)

5. Notwithstanding these positive developments, the mission views medium-term growth as insufficient to make a decisive dent in Portugal’s labor market slack. The country’s available labor resources, defined as including the unemployed, discouraged workers, as well as workers on part-time work that would prefer to work more hours, suggests untapped opportunities to realize higher rates of economic growth. However, faster absorption of labor slack will only be possible if the most binding constraints on exports (low external competitiveness) and on business investment (excessive corporate leverage) are more forcefully tackled. Higher exports would facilitate sustainable increases in imports, especially of investment goods, creating a virtuous growth circle. An inability to meet this growth challenge would likely result in continued outward migration of large numbers of workers, while the skills of the unemployed that stay but cannot find jobs would degrade.

6. In Portugal’s case, boosting external competitiveness is undeniably difficult. With no effective devaluation tools available, structural reforms provide the only route to increasing the attractiveness of producing tradable goods and services. Moreover, these reforms have to overcome a long-established pattern toward allocating productive resources to sheltered sectors that offer high rents and low competition. In addition, in the current conjuncture, low inflation in Portugal’s key trading partners renders the needed relative price adjustment especially difficult. (…)”

Eis as previsões do FMI:

Portugal: Selected Economic Indicators
(Year-on-year percent change, unless otherwise indicated)
Projections 1/
2013 2014 2015 2016
Real GDP -1.4 0.8 1.2 1.3
Private consumption -1.4 1.6 1.6 1.3
Public consumption -1.9 -0.6 -0.5 0.0
Gross fixed capital formation -6.3 1.4 1.8 2.2
Exports 6.4 3.5 4.5 4.5
Imports 3.6 4.5 4.4 4.4
Contribution to growth (percentage points)
Total domestic demand -2.4 1.3 1.1 1.2
Foreign balance 1.0 -0.4 0.0 0.1
Resource utilization
Employment -2.8 2.3 0.8 0.6
Unemployment rate (percent) 16.2 14.2 13.5 13.0
GDP deflator 2.3 1.2 1.0 1.3
Consumer prices (harmonized index) 0.4 0.0 0.4 1.0
Money and credit (end of period, percent change)
Private sector credit -5.2 -3.2 -0.4 1.0
Broad money 0.8 2.0 2.2 2.6
Fiscal indicators (percent of GDP)
General government balance 2/ -4.9 -5.0 -3.4 -3.3
Primary government balance 0.1 0.1 1.5 1.8
Structural primary balance (percent of potential GDP) 2.0 2.7 2.4 2.3
General government debt 128.0 127.8 125.7 125.5
Current account balance (percent of GDP) 0.7 0.6 0.4 0.2
Nominal GDP (billions of euros) 171.2 174.6 178.5 183.2
Sources: Bank of Portugal; Ministry of Finance; National Statistics Office (INE); Eurostat; and IMF staff projections.
1/ Projections for 2016 reflect current policies.
2/ Includes one-off measures from SOE and banking sector support operations, CIT credit, and the upfront costs of mutual agreements for

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