A report in the Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã found that the Algarve region saw the largest decrease in wealth production during 2011.
The Algarve region represents 4.2 percent of the total GDP of Portugal and is an essential part of the nations economy, however during 2011 the wealth produced in the Algarve stood at 7.1 billion euros, representing a decrease of 2.5 percent compared to 2010.
The National Institute for Statistics in Portugal have released a report which found that the “during 2011, the district continued to be the region most affected by the economic situation”.
One of the greatest factors leading to the reduction ion wealth created in the Algarve was due to the collapse of the construction industry in the Algarve which fell by 16 percent during 2011.
The fall in wealth production in the Algarve is seen as a very worrying sign for Portugal as a whole but the area that contributes most to the GDP of Portugal remains Lisbon with 37.2 percent of the total GDP generated here. The North of Portugal generates 28.3 percent, the centre 18.6 percent, the Algarve and Alentejo represent 6.5 percent and finally Madeira and the Azores account for 3 percent and 2.2 percent respectively.
The failing construction industry in the Algarve has had a huge knock on effect on the entire regional economy.
Sérgio Graça, the leader if the Union of Construction Workers of the South, told Correio da Manhã that works had come to an “absolute halt” and added that all the major construction companies have left the Algarve now.
Of the 34,000 unemployed residents in the Algarve, a third of these are from the construction sector while many of these workers are not only struggling to survive on social security pay outs there are many others who are still waiting for wages to be paid after companies closed fraudulently.
The statistics that have been collated about the GDP production in Portugal only look at results from 2011 and for many in the Algarve they believe that this was the year that saw the economy bottom out with some signs of recovery now on the horizon.
The announcement of a new development to be constructed in the Loul’e municipality and planss for another huge tourist development near to the Salgados Lagoon would see hundreds of workers employed in the construction industry once again.
We now have to wait to see what the results for 2012 were to see if the Algarve is finally pulling itself out of the recession that has affected it so badly.