In the Euro Area (EA), GDP in real terms registered a year-on-year change rate of 1.7% in the first quarter of 2017 (1.8% in the previous quarter). In April, the consumer confidence and the economic sentiment indicators increased in the EA. In the same month, the raw materials and oil prices presented monthly change rates of -2.3% and 1.0%, respectively (-2.4% and -6.3% in March).
In Portugal, GDP presented a volume year-on-year growth rate of 2.8% in the first quarter of 2017 (2.0% in the fourth quarter of 2016). Both the economic activity indicator, available for March and the economic climate indicator, already available for April, increased. The quantitative indicator of private consumption presented a lower year-on-year growth rate in March compared to February, reflecting the less intense positive contribution of the non-durable and durable consumption components. In the same month, the Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) indicator stabilized, interrupting the upward path observed since June 2016, due to less intense positive contributions of the transport material and machinery and equipment components, which were offset by a more significant positive contribution of construction. Concerning the international trade of goods, exports and imports accelerated in March, recording year on-year nominal change rates of 17.1% and 15.3%, respectively (12.9% and 14.9% in February), which in part reflects calendar effects. Considering the economic activity from the production perspective, the industry and services turnover indices as well as the construction and public works production index accelerated in March, while the industrial production index decelerated.
In the first quarter of 2017, the unemployment rate was 10.1%, which is lower by 0.4 p.p. to the one observed in the previous quarter and significantly below the unemployment rate for the same quarter last year (12.4%). Total employment increased significantly in the first quarter of 2017, recording a year-on-year change rate of 3.2% (1.8% in the previous quarter), while the active population increased 0.6% (change rate of -0.2% in the previous quarter).
The year-on-year change rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 2.0% in April (1.4% in March), with a change rate of 1.1% in the goods component (1.5% in the previous month) and 3.3% in the services component (1.2% in March).