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Economic activity indicator decelerated in March. Producer prices continue to decrease and Consumer Prices decelerated
Monthly Economic Survey
Economic activity indicator decelerated in March. Producer prices continue to decrease and Consumer Prices decelerated - April 2024
20 May 2024


The economic sentiment indicator (ESI) decreased moderately in April in the Euro Area (EA), after increasing in the previous month. The prices of raw-materials and oil presented monthly rates of change of 5.3% and 6.7%, respectively (0.4% and 1.6% in March).

The Portuguese industrial production price index registered a year on-year rate of change of -0,8% in April (-1,5% in March), presenting a negative rate of change for the twelfth consecutive month. The grouping of Energy registered a rate of 0,9%, after -1,5% in the preceding month. Excluding the energy component, this index decreased by 1,2% (-1.8% in March), and the index for consumer goods recorded a year-on-year growth rate of 2.7% in April (2.6% in the previous month), interrupting the deceleration profile observed since the beginning of 2023.

The year-on-year rate of change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 2.2% in April, 0.1 percentage points less than in the previous month. On the external side, the implicit prices of exports and imports of goods continued to record negative rates of change, -2.3% in exports and -3.1% in imports (-3.9% and -6.0%, respectively, in February). Excluding petroleum products, there were decreases of 2.2% in exports and 3.5% in imports (-2.9% and -5.6% in February).

The short-term indicators, available for March, reveal a deceleration in volume in construction and in nominal terms in services, and an acceleration in volume in industry. In nominal terms, industry turnover presented a more intense decrease, mainly reflecting a calendar effect (March 2024 had less three working days than the same month of 2023). The economic climate indicator, which summarizes the balances of responses to questions relating to business surveys, decreased in April, after increasing in March. From the expenditure side, the economic activity indicator increased in year-on-year terms between September and March, less intensely in the last month, after decreasing in August. The investment indicator decreased, in year-on-year terms, in February and March, and the private consumption indicator decelerated.

According to the Labour Force Survey, in the first quarter of 2024, the unemployment rate stood at 6.8%, 0.2 percentage points more than the rate observed in the previous quarter (7.2% in the first quarter of 2023). The number of unemployed decreased by 3.4% in year-on-year terms (year-on-year rate of change of 3.0% in the previous quarter). The labour underutilization rate was 1.0 percentage points higher than in the fourth quarter, standing at 11.7%. Total employment increased by 1.8% in year-on-year terms (year-on-year rate of change of 1.6% in the fourth quarter). The volume of hours actually worked decreased by 2.8% in year on year terms (0.3% in the previous quarter).

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