The economy in Portugal is treading water at the moment. It is not in very good shape. Certain sectors of the economy are doing better than others; particularly tourism. Portugal had one of the best tourist seasons ever. Real estate is also doing extremely well. Property in Lisbon is like the new El Dorado for some property investors and we have had inquiries from American investors about buying property in Lisbon because of the price ratio compared to places like Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, and London. Real estate prices in Portugal are very competitive. The property experts recon that the market here is still quite undervalued relative to other centers.
Generally, tourism is one of the main drivers of the economy in Portugal. Other industries such as cork, wine production, and footwear are also some of the drivers of the economy here but they are becoming less competitive. A big drawback here in Portugal is that the labor laws are still very socialist and even communist-oriented so it’s not easy to fire somebody. It is quite a complicated process and it is expensive. This is one of the biggest drawbacks of the Portuguese economy. There is a lack of international competitiveness because of draconian labor laws.
(Douro wine region in Portugal, pictured.)