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Economic climate indicator increased and consumer prices accelerated
Monthly Economic Survey
Economic climate indicator increased and consumer prices accelerated - January 2024
19 February 2024


In the Euro Area (EA), Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in volume recorded a year-on-year increase of 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2023 (null rate of change in the third quarter) and a null quarter-on-quarter rate of change (decrease of 0.1% in the third quarter). In 2023, GDP recorded an annual growth rate of 0.5% in the EA, after increasing by 3.4% in 2022.

In Portugal, GDP in real terms registered a year-on-year rate of change of 2.2% in the fourth quarter of 2023 (1.9% in the previous quarter). Compared to the third quarter of 2023, GDP increased by 0.8% in volume (decrease of 0.2% in the previous quarter). In 2023, GDP grew by 2.3%, in volume, after increasing by 6.8% in 2022, the highest growth since 1987.

The Portuguese industrial production price index registered a year-on-year rate of change of -4.3 % in January (after -4,5% in December), presenting a negative rate of change for the tenth consecutive month. The grouping of Energy continued to be decisive for the reduction of the total index, with a rate of -9.9%. Excluding the energy component, this index decreased by 2.8% in January (-2.1% in November and December), and the index for consumer goods recorded a year-on-year growth rate of 1.4% (1.8% in the previous month). The year-on-year rate of change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) accelerated to 2.3% in January, 0.9 percentage points more than in the previous month. 

The short-term indicators, available for December, reveal a real acceleration in construction and decreases in industry and services. The economic climate indicator, which summarizes the balances of responses to questions relating to business surveys, increased between November and January. From the expenditure side, the economic activity indicator increased less intensely in December, while the private consumption indicator accelerated, and the investment indicator decreased.

According to the Labour Force Survey, in the fourth quarter of 2023, the unemployment rate stood at 6.6%, 0.5 percentage points above the rate observed in third quarter and identical to that recorded in the same period of 2022. The number of unemployed increased by 3.0% in year-on-year terms (variation of 4.4% in the third quarter). The labour underutilization rate reached 11.6%, an increase of 0.3 p.p. compared to the third quarter, and 636.8 thousand people (620.9 thousand in the previous quarter). Total employment grew 1.6% in year-on-year terms and decreased 0.7% compared to the previous quarter (year-on-year rate of change of 2.2% in the third quarter). The active population had a year-on-year increase of 1.7%. 

In 2023, the average total and regular earnings per employee increased both by 6.6% and, deflated by the CPI, increased by 4.0% and 4.2%, respectively.

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