LISBON, March 28 (Reuters) - Portugal's budget deficit jumped to 6.4 percent of gross domestic product last year to exceed the five percent target agreed with Lisbon's EU/IMF lenders after extraordinary revenues were rejected by the statistical authority, official data showed on Thursday.
The National Statistics Institute said the deficit exceeded the target because revenues from the sale of airport operator ANA and the transfer of banks' pension funds were not accepted by the statistical bodies, unlike in 2011 when one-off measures allowed Portugal to meet its target.
Although largely expected, analysts say the figures add to doubts about Portugal's ability to meet this year's target. The country is in the grips of the worst recession since the 1970s which weighs on public accounts.
'Risks for the 2013 budget execution are high,' said Filipe Garcia, head of Informacao de Mercados Financeiros consultants in Porto.
The INE said that in 2011, the deficit was 4.4 percent of GDP, including one-off measures. It added that it expects Portugal to meet its 5.5 percent deficit goal this year and that the country's public debt should dip to 122.4 percent of GDP in 2013, after peaking at 123.6 percent last year.
Lisbon's lenders had said earlier they expected the nominal deficit goal to be missed due to the statistical rules, but commended Portugal's budget adjustment effort saying they considered its target reached.
On March 15, Portugal's lenders eased its budget goals and gave it more time to make unpopular spending cuts, acknowledging the country's compliance with its bailout programme will not prevent its economy from slumping further.
'We don't expect complacency from the lenders, but the targets may be loosened (further). The troika is more concerned about the coherent spirit of the adjustment than targets,' Garcia said.
(Reporting by Daniel Alvarenga and Sergio Goncalves; editing by Ron Askew) Keywords: PORTUGAL/DEFICIT
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