WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday that "solid progress" is being made in Portugal's economic program despite headwinds from recession in the euro area.
"The program is broadly on track, despite stronger headwinds. With much already accomplished, strong commitment and perseverance need to be maintained as the program enters its second half," said the IMF in a joint statement with the European Central Bank and the European Commission on the sixth economic review of Portugal.
The review, which was conducted from Nov. 12 to 19, found that while downside risks to growth are significant, the macroeconomic framework of Portugal's economic program remains appropriate.
The country's real GDP is projected to contract 1 percent in 2013 following a 3-percent decline in 2012. But the economy would return to growth in 2014, predicted the review.
"Fiscal consolidation efforts are in line with the revised deficit targets for 2012 and 2013. Revenue collection has been somewhat weaker than envisaged in recent months, but this was offset by tight spending execution," the statement noted.
Approval of the conclusion of the review will allow the disbursement of 2.5 billion euros in rescue funding in January, the IMF said in the statement.
Portugal in May 2011 inked a 78-billion-euro international rescue plan over three years with the IMF and its European partners to tide over its economic crisis.