Official Portal - Statistics Portugal

Economic Survey
Monthly Economic Survey
Economic Survey - 4th Quarter 2006
22 February 2007

During the fourth quarter the pace of the economic activity was similar to the one of the precedent quarter. This signal is extracted from the economic climate and the activity indicators, even if other quantitative indicators, based on the Short Term Statistics, show some slowdown. The set of available information also points to a stronger economic growth in the second half of 2006 than in the first. By sector of activity, only construction had a deeper contraction in the second half of the year, although it is not unlikely to admit some recovery in the fourth quarter. General economic activity was sustained by external demand, whereas domestic demand grew worse in comparison to its positive behaviour of third quarter. Private consumption slowed down and investment returned to a negative performance. On the other hand, exports' dynamism has to be stressed, once its growth continued to be stronger than the one of the external demand indicator. On the labour market the evolution was also somewhat deceiving, since the clearly positive signs of the preceding quarter were not maintained. In the fourth quarter there was a slight growth of employment and an increase of unemployment. The unemployment rate increased on a year on year basis, whereas in the third quarter this rate had diminished. Neither the available information from employment centres nor the employment expectations by enterprises contradict this assessment, however the data presented for January is more favourable. Inflation slowed down significantly in the fourth quarter, mainly due to the price of gas and other fuels. Core inflation has also slowed down, although less intensively. In January there was a slight acceleration of inflation while core inflation continued to decelerate.
Press release
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