1 Apr 2011

Budget deficit target missed by Portugal

1:42 pm on 1 April 2011

The Portuguese government has admitted that it has missed its 2010 budget deficit target.

Total borrowing for the year was 8.6% of GDP. The target agreed with Brussels was 7.3%.

It blames the excess borrowing on the inclusion of losses at state-owned transport companies and a bank.

Portugal's cost of borrowing has risen sharply as bond markets increasingly anticipate a debt default by the country.

The yield on Portuguese two-year bonds hit 8.6% on Thursday, its highest since Portugal joined the euro in 1999.

Meanwhile, President Anibal Cavaco Silva has announced early elections will be held on 5 June.

Prime Minister Jose Socrates resigned eight days ago when parliament rejected a new austerity programme put forward by his government.