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Portugal economic, consumer confidence drops on political uncertainty

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Portugal's economic climate indicator slipped this month for the first time since December after an inconclusive Oct 4 election triggered a political crisis that risks toppling the centre-right government, data showed on Thursday.

[LISBON] Portugal's economic climate indicator slipped this month for the first time since December after an inconclusive Oct 4 election triggered a political crisis that risks toppling the centre-right government, data showed on Thursday.

The economic climate indicator, which measures business confidence, stood at plus 1.2 in October, down from 1.4 in September, when it was unchanged at its highest level since early 2008.

The National Statistics Institute also said its consumer confidence indicator fell to a negative reading of 17.4 from -17.2 in September, which was its highest since June 2001.

Portugal's new opposition-dominated parliament will hold a vote on Nov 10 or 11 that could boot out the austerity-minded minority government less than a fortnight after it is sworn in.

The confidence indices started rebounding at the start of 2013, when Portugal began to recover from its debt crisis which led to the worst economic slump since the 1970s. The economy grew last year for the first time since 2010 and is expected to expand more this year.

REUTERS