In February, the consumer confidence stabilized in the Euro Area (EA), while the economic sentiment indicator recovered. In the same month, both the raw materials and oil prices presented a monthly change rate of 0.3% (3.5% and 1.7% in January, respectively).
In Portugal, the economic activity indicator, available for January, and the economic climate indicator, already available for February, increased. The quantitative indicator of private consumption stabilized in January, reflecting the higher contribution of the durable consumption component and a less intense contribution of the non-durable consumption component. In the same month, the Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) indicator increased due to the behaviour of all components, especially construction. Concerning the international trade of goods, exports and imports recorded year on-year nominal change rates of 12.9% and 14.3% in January, respectively (5.0% and 6.4% in December). The industry turnover and the industrial production indexes presented a more intense positive change rate in January, while the respective price index accelerated. The services turnover index accelerated in January while the construction and public works production index featured a positive year on-year change rate. It should be noted that, in January, economic activity was positively influenced by trading days’ effect, with two additional trading days compared to the same month of the previous year.
According to the provisional monthly estimates of Labour Force Survey, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (15 to 74 years old) was 10.2% in January (remaining unchanged when compared with the definitive rate observed in December, but 0.4 percentage points below the rate registered three months earlier and 1.9 percentage points below the rate observed in January 2016). The estimate for the employed population (15 to 74 years old), seasonally adjusted, showed an increase of 2.4% comparing with January 2016 (2.6% in December) and a -0.2% change rate comparing with the previous month.
The year-on-year change rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 1.6% in February (1.3% in January), with a change rate of 1.7% in the goods component (1.4% in the last month) and 1.4% in the services component (1.3% in January).