Portugal is facing its worst recession in living memory as businesses, large and small, are facing unprecedented contraction in the short-term because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Economists are expecting a downturn worse than during the 2008 global financial crisis from which the country had only recently recovered. The IMF forecast last week that the country's GDP would shrink 8% this year compared with a 2.2% growth in 2019 and the unemployment rate would reach 13.9% compared with 6.5% last year.
The slump is largely due to Portugal's heavy reliance on its tourism sector, which accounted for 14.6% of GDP in 2018. After attracting record numbers of 27m visitors in 2019, the sector is close to collapse this year because of Covid-19. Even before the pandemic, Portugal's exports and domestic demand were also already slowing.As of the morning of April 20, the country reported 20,206 cases of infection, with 714 dead and