By Manuel Protasio, Teresa Empis Falcao
The construction sector one was of the sectors most severely affected by the economic crisis of 2011, with the construction companies seeking new opportunities in foreign markets, particularly in the Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa. From 2011 to 2014 Portugal went through a process where the economy had to adjust to a financial assistance programme advanced by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The financial assistance programme came to an end in May 2014 and the Portuguese economy has since shown consistently positive signs of recovery.
Accordingly, the construction sector has regained growth since 2014, mainly owing to the increase of private investment in the sector and growth of the gross domestic product (GDP). In particular, the recent increase of the minimum wage and the decrease of the unemployment rate contributed to a greater financial capacity of the private sector, which helped to offset the negative effects of public disinvestment.