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Forecast, Execution and Result

Get to know in detail the three main stages that make up the budget cycle that all State Budgets go through.

The three stages of the budget cycle

Each State Budget goes through three major stages: forecast, execution and result. This set of stages, which is repeated every year, is known as the "budget cycle". This cycle begins in the year preceding the year to which the Budget refers. That is, in that year the Budget will be prepared that will be executed in the following year.


Discussion and preparation of a strategy of objectives, political priorities and forecasts for the distribution of resources together with all Ministries and public entities.

Meet SB 2024

From the 1st of January to the 31st of December of each year, the approved State Budget is executed by all public entities of the Central Administration and by Social Security.

Follow SB 2024

The Government compiles the final accounts of the execution and prepares the General State Account, which is the most important document for the Government's accountability to citizens and democratic institutions.

SB Balance Sheet 2023

The State Budget in reality

The cycle of each Budget presents several challenges, targets and deliverables to be met over three years. Given their cyclicality, some of these milestones intersect with the budget cycle of other years.
What steps will the State Budget go through2025?


Budget preparation begins

The first step is to draw up the Multiannual Public Expenditure Framework (MTEF), aimed at laying down the budgetary ceilings for the policies to be implemented in the medium term. This framework is presented, discussed and approved in Parliament, along with two other documents: the Stability Programme and the Major Planning Options.


Drafting the Stability Programme

The Ministry of Finance draws up the Stability Programme, a document containing the Multiannual Public Expenditure Framework and setting out the public policy strategy and priorities for the medium term.


Presenting the Stability Programme

By April 15, the Ministry of Finance must present the Stability Programme to Parliament and then, by April 30, to the European Commission.


Preparatory work begins

Rules are set out for preparing the draft budgets to be submitted by each Central Administration entity and by Social Security, containing the annual estimates of revenue and expenditure.


Analysing and deciding

Bearing in mind the estimated public finances and the forecast for the year set out in the State Budget, changes are made to the previous proposals.


Submitting the State Budget Bill

By October 10, the State Budget Bill will be submitted to Parliament, consisting of the Law Articulate (including the Budgetary Maps, also known as "Law Maps"), Budgetary Developments and the Report.


Approving the State Budget Proposal

The Bill is discussed and approved by the Assembly of the Republic within 45 days.


Promulgation of the State Budget Law.

The Bill is promulgated by the President of the Republic and becomes the State Budget Law.



The Execution stage begins

The Government is liable for expenditure and revenue collection under the terms laid down by law over the course of a year. Every month, the Budget General Directorate publishes the Budget Execution Summary, with the actual figures for each month, and other legal publications on execution.



The Result stage begins

Preparation of the General State Account, the Government's main accountability document.


Submitting the General State Account

May 31 is the deadline for submitting the General State Account to the Assembly of the Republic.


Analysis by the Court of Auditors

Until September 30, the Court of Auditors will analyse the General State Account and issue its verdict — called in Portugal "Parecer" —, validating the accounts — the so-called "certification".


Limit for approval of the General State Account

By December 31, the Assembly of the Republic will have to discuss and approve the General State Account.

Want to know the process in more detail?

Find here all the information about the process of drawing up the State Budget, the entities involved and the most relevant moments of the different phases.

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