Senior EU official praises Portugal's economic improvement

LISBON, Portugal (AP) " The European Union's top economy official says there's mounting evidence to show that Portugal is leaving behind its recent economic crisis.

Pierre Moscovici, the European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, notes that Portugal's economic growth was the strongest in the 19-country eurozone in the third quarter, at a quarterly 0.8 percent compared with 0.3 percent for the currency bloc as a whole.

Moscovici said during a visit to Lisbon Friday that "Portugal is recovering ... Portugal is changing."

And at just above 10 percent in September, unemployment is down from 12.4 percent a year earlier. The government is also reducing the budget deficit, targeting 2.2 percent this year and 1.8 percent next.

Portugal endured a three-year recession after needing a 78 billion-euro ($82.7 billion) international bailout in 2011.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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