Portugese public deficit drops

Portugal, the latest Eurozone member in the market’s firing line, yesterday continued to fend off market and peer pressure to seek an EU-IMF bailout. Prime Minister Jose Socrates said his country had beaten its goal for reducing the 2010 budget deficit and did not need outside help. Socrates said that Portugal’s public deficit for 2010 was “clearly less than the forecast” of 7.3 per cent of output, and might even fall by an extra 0.5 percentage points.