In the Euro Area (EA), GDP in real terms registered a year-on-year change rate of 1.5% in the fourth quarter (1.6% in the two previous quarters). In January, the consumer confidence increased in the EA, while the economic sentiment indicator declined. In the same month, the raw materials and oil prices presented monthly change rates of -2.3% and -18.9%, respectively (-1.1% and -15.3% in December).
In Portugal, according to the flash estimate, GDP recorded a volume year-on-year change rate of 1.2% in the fourth quarter (1.4% in the previous quarter) mainly due to the behaviour of investment. Comparing with the previous quarter, the GDP change rate was 0.2% in the fourth quarter (nil change rate in the third quarter).
The economic climate indicator, available until January, maintained the trajectory of the last four months, decreasing slightly again. The economic activity indicator registered a slight decrease in December, almost off-setting the tenuous increase of the previous month. Industry and Services turnover indices registered negative change rates in nominal terms, more pronounced than in the previous month, which may reflect negative changes of prices. Indeed, in the case of industry, the change in the price index was negative and the industrial production index, although decelerating, maintained a positive growth in December. In December, the construction and public works production index presented a more intense reduction. Considering the economic activity from the expenditure perspective, it should be noted that the quantitative indicator of private consumption moderated its year-on-year growth in December, while the Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) indicator increased, mainly due to the more pronounced positive contribution of the transport material component. Concerning the international trade of goods, exports and imports recorded year-on-year nominal change rates of -0.2% and -0.9% in December, respectively (-1.2% and -0.8% in November).
In the fourth quarter, the unemployment rate was 12.2%, more 0.3 percentage points when compared with the two previous quarters, but lower than in the same period of 2014 (13.5%). Total employment recorded a year-on-year change rate of 1.6% (0.2% in the third quarter) and the active population increased by 0.1%, after diminishing 1.1% in the previous quarter.
The year-on-year change rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 0.8% in January (0.4% in December), with change rates of 0.2% and 1.5% for the goods and the services components, respectively.