In February, the economic sentiment indicator registered a slight decrease in the Euro Area (EA), after increasing in the three previous months. The prices of raw-materials and oil presented monthly rates of change of 0.3% and 0.7%, respectively (4.5% and 0.2% in January).
In Portugal, the manufacturing price index decelerated in the last seven months, significantly in February, recording a year on-year rate of change of 12.3% (16.9% in the previous month). Excluding the energy component, this index increased by 10.6% (12.4% in January). The index for consumer goods recorded a year on-year rate of change of 14.7% (16.0% in the previous month), decelerating for the third consecutive month, after reaching in November the highest growth of the current series (16.2%). The year-on-year rate of change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) decelerated to 8.2% in February, 0.2 percentage points (p.p.) less than in the previous month. The index for unprocessed food continued to accelerate, from a rate of change of 18.5% in January to 20.1% in February, the highest since May 1990. On the external side, the implicit prices of exports and imports of goods decelerated in January for the fifth consecutive month, to year-on-year growths of 8.1% in exports and 7.0% in imports (9.7% and 12.2%, respectively, in December).
The short-term indicators, available for January, point to an acceleration in industry, in volume and nominal, and in construction, in real terms, and to a slowdown in services in nominal terms.
From the expenditure side, the private consumption indicator increased in January, while the Gross Fixed Capital Formation indicator registered a decrease. The economic activity indicator increased strongly in January, after having decreased in the two previous months. The economic climate indicator, which summarizes the balances of responses to questions relating to business surveys, increased in January and February, interrupting the downward movement started in March.
According to the provisional monthly Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate (16 to 74 years old), seasonally adjusted, was 7.1% in January, 0.3 percentage points more than in the previous month (6.0% in October and 5.9% in January 2022). The labour underutilization rate (16 to 74 years old) stood at 12.4%, 0.2 percentage points more than in December (11.5% in January 2022). In January, the employed population (16 to 74 years old), seasonally adjusted, increased by 0.5% compared with the previous month and 0.1% in year-on-year terms (year-on-year rate of change of -0.4% in December).