In the Euro Area (EA), GDP in real terms presented a year-on-year growth rate of 2.5% in the first quarter of 2018 (2.8% in the previous quarter). In April, 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 0.9% and 9.8%, respectively (-0.2% and 1.2% in March). Regarding oil prices, the price expressed in Euros was the highest since December 2014 (58.7 Euros).
In Portugal, GDP presented a year-on-year growth rate of 2.1% in real terms, in the first quarter of 2018 (2.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017). The economic activity indicator, available until March, decreased, and the economic climate indicator, already available for April, stabilized. The quantitative indicator of private consumption stabilized in March, with the less positive contribution of the durable consumption component offsetting the increase in the positive contribution of the non-durable component. In the same month, the Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) indicator accelerated, reflecting the more intense positive contribution of the transport material and machinery and equipment components, while the construction component presented a less intense positive contribution. In nominal terms, exports and imports recorded year-on-year change rates of 2.7% and 6.3% in March, respectively (5.4% and 6.2% in February), partly reflecting a calendar effect.
In the first quarter of 2018, the unemployment rate was 7.9%, which is lower by 0.2 p.p. to the one observed in the previous quarter and significantly below the unemployment rate for the same quarter of 2017 (10.1%). Total employment decelerated slightly in the first quarter of 2018, recording a year-on-year change rate of 3.2% (3.5% in the previous quarter), while the active population increased 0.7% (change rate of 0.8% in the previous quarter).
The year-on-year change rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 0.4% in April (0.7% in March), with a 0.3% change rate in the goods component (-0.2% in the previous month) and 0.6% in the services component (2.1% in the previous month), due in part to a base effect, since significant price increases were observed in some products in April 2017, during the Easter period, in particular Restaurants and Hotels and Transportation.
The average monthly wage declared by worker to Social Security slowed down in March, presenting a year-on-year change rate of 0.5% (1.1% in February).