The aging of the Portuguese population threatens to create serious problems for the country in the coming decades. The warning comes from the agency Moody’s after conducting an analysis of the 12 countries with the oldest or most rapidly aging populations in the next 15 years.
"We conclude that Portugal is one of five countries that will face severe growth pressures unless productivity rises," according to a Moody's study released Wednesday. In addition to Portugal, the study examines Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, South Korea, Poland, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece and Belgium.
Several experts have warned in recent years that low birth rates in Portugal will cause an aging population, with risks to contributory systems such as Social Security reforms and pensions, or the National Health Service.
“Our simulations suggest that from the early 2030s on in Japan, Greece, Portugal and Spain, aging will cause growth to fall to zero or fall below zero if no measures are taken to increase growth. productivity or underpin economic growth, ”says Moody's Director Marie Diron in a statement.
Already Italy is at risk of suffering from this aging faster, from 2020, warns the agency.
Moreover, absent mitigating measures, in Moody’s simulations ageing raises government debt
burdens to very high levels in Italy and Japan, and to a lesser extent in Spain and Greece.
"While labor reforms and technology investment can drive growth, fully offsetting the negative contributions related to the aging workforce would require an unprecedented turnaround in productivity growth," argues Marie Diron of Moody’s.
The lack of measures to mitigate this aging will raise the level of public debt to “very high levels” in Italy and Japan, also affecting the debt of Spain and Greece, but less than the first two countries.