Inflation goes up in Portugal

15:17, April 13, 2011      

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Portugal's inflation rate in March increased to 4 percent year-on-year, worsening the country's already grim economic prospects, Portuguese National Statistics Institute said Tuesday.

The rate was 1.3 percent higher than that in the European Union as a whole, the institute added.

However, the figure may go up again in the coming months, driven by tax raise and expected commodity price hikes at the international markets, which would make it more difficult for the Portuguese economy to recover.

Meanwhile, four reputable Portuguese economists asked the general prosecutor to open an investigation on three rating agencies -- Moody's, Fitch and Standard & Poor's -- accusing them of manipulating the market against Portugal's economy.

The economists claimed the three rating agencies had "practiced abusive acts" that resulted in "great harm to the interests of the Portuguese people and the country."

They also complained about a lack of competitiveness which they said led the agencies to control 90 percent of the market.

The three rating agencies downgraded Portuguese ratings by various levels in less than a week, just before the country had to ask the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission to maintain its liquidity.

Source: Xinhua
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