In 2012, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decreased 3.2% in volume, after the reduction of 1.6% observed in the previous year. The more intense decline of GDP was driven by the reduction of the positive contribution of net external demand, which shifted from 4.7 percentage points (p.p.) in 2011 to 3.9 p.p., due to the deceleration of Exports of Goods and Services, and by the more negative contribution of domestic demand, reflecting the more intense reduction of private consumption. The Portuguese economy presented a Net Lending of 0.4% of GDP (Net Borrowing of 5.6% in 2011). This evolution was mainly due to the improvements of the External Balance of Goods and Services and of the Balance of Primary Income.
In the 4th quarter 2012, GDP diminished 3.8%, in real terms, comparing with the same period of 2011 (change rate of -3.5% in the previous quarter). Comparing with the previous quarter, the Portuguese GDP decreased 1.8%. The positive contribution of net external demand to the GDP year-on-year change rate declined significantly in 4th quarter 2012, reflecting a less intense decline of Imports of Goods and Services and a reduction of Exports of Goods and Services. On the contrary, the domestic demand recorded a less negative contribution for the year-on-year change rate of GDP, especially driven by a less expressive reduction of Investment.