Uma interessante radiografia da economia Portuguesa no blog A Fistful of Euros. Dão particular relevância aos aspectos demográficos e às suas implicações económicas. Algo que, outras razões não existissem, torna premente a resolução da sustentabilidade do estado social e o equilibrio das contas externa e públicas.
Many hold that the planet is overpopulated, and that energy constraints mean fewer people would be better. So shouldn’t we be celebrating all these children who aren’t getting born?
Well, no, at least not if you want sustainable pension and health system, and that is what the developed world sovereign debt crisis is all about, how to meet implicit liabilities for an ever older population. One thing Portugal won’t have a shortage of is old people, since the over 65 age group is projected to grow and grow, even as the working population shrinks and shrinks. No wonder the young are leaving, even if the youth unemployment rate wasn’t 38.3%, just think of all the taxes and social security contributions the remaining young people are going to have to pay just to keep the welfare ship afloat. Patriotism at the end of the day has its limits.(…)
But if there is a shortage of both growth and young people, there is no shortage of debt. Gross government debt as a percentage of GDP hit the 120% of GDP level last year. And it isn’t only public sector debt, the Portuguese private sector owed some 250% of GDP at the end of last year, according to Eurostat records, one of the highest levels in the EU.
Worse still the country’s net international investment position had a negative balance of nearly 110% of GDP, the worst in the EU.
This last detail is important, since according to conventional economic theory it is by drawing down on overseas assets (which have been acquired by pensions and other saving) that elderly societies can help meet their pension and health liabilities (the Japan case). But in Portugal far from reaping returns on this account, paying down these debts, or interest on them, will be a drain on public resources for many years to come.