The Bank of Portugal on Friday raised the country's 2024 economic growth forecast to 2.0% from 1.2% predicted in December on the back of stronger investment and exports, expecting only a gentle slowdown after last year's 2.3% expansion.

In its quarterly economic bulletin, the central bank expected the economy to grow by 2.3% next year and by 2.2% in 2026.

Portugal's euro area-harmonised inflation is projected to slow sharply to 2.4% this year from 5.3% in 2023, and to further dip to 1.9% by 2026.

The central bank said in a statement that growth through 2026 will benefit from "increased investment and exports, and exceeds that projected for the euro area". (Reporting by Sergio Goncalves; editing by Andrei Khalip)