Monthly Economic Survey
The private consumption and the investment indicators diminish in March. Nominal imports and exports of goods maintain strong year-on-year growth rates
- April 2011
18 May 2011
According to the flash estimate compiled by the Eurostat, in the 1st quarter of 2011, the Euro Area (EA) and the European Union (EU27) GDP registered year-on-year change rates of 2.5% in real terms (2.0% and 2.2% in the previous quarter, respectively). In April, the economic sentiment indicator and the consumer confidence indicator diminished in the EA and in the EU27. The raw materials and the oil prices continued to register strong year-on-year growth rates in April, although decelerating from the previous month in the second case.
In Portugal, according to the flash estimate, the GDP recorded a year-on-year change rate of -0.7% in volume in the 1st quarter of 2011 (1.0% in the 4th quarter of 2010), reflecting the negative contribution of the domestic demand. The economic activity indicator decreased in the 1st quarter of 2011, maintaining the downward movement of the previous quarter. The private consumption indicator diminished strongly in the 1st quarter of 2011, led by the negative contribution of both components, non durable and durable consumption, more significant in the second case. In the same quarter, the Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) indicator presented a more intense reduction, mainly reflecting the negative evolution of the transport material component. On a monthly basis, these three indicators diminished in March when compared with February. Concerning the international trade of goods in nominal terms, imports and exports recorded year-on-year growth rates of 8.5% and 17.0% in the 1st quarter of 2011 (11.5% and 15.3% in the 4th quarter of 2010), respectively. The economic climate indicator decreased in the 1st quarter of 2011 and in April.
In the 1st quarter of 2011 the unemployment rate was 12.4%. The increase comparing with the previous quarter (11.1%) and with the same quarter of the previous year (10.6%) may partially reflect the changes in the interview method and on the labour force survey questionnaire. The total employees, the aggregate least influenced by those changes, shifted from a change rate of 0.2% in the 4th quarter of 2010 to -0.7% in the 1st quarter of 2011.
In April, the year-on-year change rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 4.1% (4.0% in March). In the same month, excluding energy and unprocessed food products, the year-on-year change rate was 2.6% (2.4% in the previous month). The prices of the goods and of the services components presented year-on-year growth rates of 4.8% and 2.9% in April (4.9% and 2.7% in the previous month), respectively. The differential between the change rate of the Portuguese Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) and of the EA HICP stabilized in 1.2 p.p. in April.