In 2011, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decreased by 1.6% in volume, after the growth rate of 1.4% observed in the previous year. This behaviour was mainly due to the contribution of domestic demand, which shifted from 0.9 p.p. of GDP in 2010 to -6.2 p.p. in 2011, with Private Consumption and Investment decreasing markedly. In the opposite direction, the contribution of net external demand increased to 4.6 p.p. (0.5 p.p. in 2010), mainly driven by a reduction in Imports of Goods and Services, while Exports of Goods and Services continued to grow, although at a lower rate.
In the 4th quarter 2011, GDP diminished 2.8%, in real terms, comparing with the same period of 2010 (change rate of 1.9% in the previous quarter). Comparing with the previous quarter, the Portuguese GDP diminished 1.3% in real terms. The contribution of domestic demand to the GDP year-on-year change rate declined significantly in 4th quarter 2011, attaining -10.3 p.p. (-5.3 p.p. in the 3rd quarter), reflecting the more intense declines of Investment and Private Consumption. The positive contribution of net external demand increased to 7.5 p.p. (3.3 p.p. in the previous quarter), mainly reflecting a stronger decrease in Imports of Goods and Services, while Exports decelerated but maintained a high growth. In the 4th quarter, despite the deterioration of the terms of trade, External Trade Balance was less negative by 6.3% of GDP comparing with the observed in the same quarter of 2010, leading to a substantial improvement of the net lending/borrowing of total economy.