Portugal's anti-austerity effort brings little growth

Portugal's economy is growing only half as quickly as the anti-austerity government had hoped, as its key policy of driving domestic demand comes up short.

The center-left Socialist government, with the support of the Communist Party and radical Left Bloc, lowered some taxes, reversed government worker pay cuts and raised the lowest pensions as it rolled back austerity measures taken after Portugal's 78 billion-euro ($87 billion) bailout in 2011.

The government said after taking power in November that those steps would spur growth.

But the national statistics agency said Wednesday that Portugal's economy grew at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the second quarter — far short of the anti-austerity government's goal of 1.8 percent for 2016 and placing the country among the eurozone's weakest economies.