- Portugal is a founding member of the European Union and of the euro zone.
- Having joined the EU in 1986, the country went through a period of strong reforms and investments, mainly in infrastructures, that contributed to a rapid acceleration in Gross Domestic Product. According to OECD, between 1970 and 2003, GDP per capita measured in Parity Purchasing Power (PPP) has grown from 50% to about 70% of the same indicator.
- The structure of the Portuguese economy is based on the services industry. In 2008, this sector accounted for 73.6% of gross value-added (GVA) and employed 59.3% of the labour force. Agriculture, forestry and fisheries generated 2.4% of gross value-added against 24% in 1960 and created 11.5% of the available jobs. Industry, construction, energy and water generated 24% of GVA and accounted for 29.3% of the jobs created.
- Over the past years, the Portuguese economy has made a significant change in manufacturing, moving from high dependence on textiles, footwear and others to new sectors involving larger incorporation of technology: motor vehicles and components, electronics, pharmaceuticals and new technologies.
- The Financial Crisis of 2008 is still affecting the Portuguese economy severely, causing a wide range of domestic problems specifically related to the levels of public deficit in the economy, as well as the excessive debt levels. The Government faces tough choices in its attempts to stimulate the economy, while attempting to maintain its public deficit around the EU average. In April 2011, Portugal confirmed it will have a financial bail-out from the European Financial Stability Facility worth €80bn ($115bn, £70bn), following Greece and the Republic of Ireland.