In March, the consumer confidence and the economic sentiment indicators decreased in the Euro Area (EA). In the same month, the raw materials and oil prices presented monthly change rates of -0.2% and 1.2%, respectively (1.5% and -6.6% in February).
In Portugal, the economic activity indicator, available until February, stabilized, and the economic climate indicator, already available for March, increased. The quantitative indicator of private consumption decelerated in February, due to the less positive contribution of the non-durable consumption component. In the same month, the Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) indicator also decelerated, reflecting the less intense positive contribution of the construction component and the slight negative contribution of the transport material component, which was positive in the previous month. In nominal terms, exports and imports recorded year-on-year change rates of 5.6% and 6.8% in February, respectively (7.7% and 7.5% in January). Considering the economic activity from the production perspective, in February, there was a deceleration of the turnover indexes in services and industry, as well as in the production index in industry, while 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 7.8% in February (0.1 percentage points below the definitive rate observed in January), which compares with rates of 8.1% and 9.9% 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 3.0% in February (3.6% in the three preceding months) and a decrease of 0.1% when comparing with the previous month.
The year-on-year change rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 0.7% in March (0.6% in February), with a -0.2% change rate in the goods component (null in the previous month) and 2.1% in the services component (1.4% in the previous month).