In February, the consumer confidence and the economic sentiment indicators increased in the Euro Area (EA). In the same month, the raw materials and oil prices presented monthly change rates of 1.5% and -6.6%, respectively (3.8% and 4.1% in January). The effective exchange rate of the Euro presented, in February, a year-on-year change rate of 9.6% (8.4% in January), maintaining the appreciation path registered since May 2017.
In Portugal, the economic activity indicator, available until January, decreased, and the economic climate indicator, already available for February, stabilized. The quantitative indicator of private consumption decelerated in January due to the less positive contribution of both components, durable and non-durable consumption. In the same month, the Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) indicator decreased, reflecting the less intense positive contributions of the machinery and equipment and construction components, while the transport material component presented a positive contribution. In nominal terms, exports and imports recorded year-on-year change rates of 7.3% and 7.4% in January, respectively (8.2% and 10.1% in December). Considering the economic activity from the production perspective, there was a deceleration of the turnover and production indexes in industry in January, while the turnover index in services and the production index in construction accelerated.
According to the monthly estimates of the Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate (15 to 74 years old), seasonally adjusted, was 7.9% in January (0.1p.p. below the definitive rate observed in December), which compares with rates of 8.4% and 10.1% three months and one year ago, respectively. The estimate for the employed population (15 to 74 years old), also seasonally adjusted, registered a year-on-year growth rate of 3.5% (3.6% in the two preceding months) and a null change rate comparing with the previous month.
The year-on-year change rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 0.6% in February (1.0% in January), with a null change rate in the goods component (0.3% in the previous month) and 1.4% in the services component (2.1% in the two previous months).