Businesses expect best Christmas since 2011

Businesses in Portugal are expecting this Christmas season to be “the best since Portugal had to request a financial bailout in 2011”, following a promising increase in Christmas purchases compared to last year.

According to the latest figures from SIBS, the entity that runs the national Multibanco ATM system, Portuguese people spent over €1.4 billion using their ATM cards between November 23 and December 6 – a 7.8% increased compared to last year.

The amount of money withdrawn from ATM machines – around €1.1 billion – has also registered a 0.8% increase.

According to Diário de Notícias newspaper, “these numbers indicate that this might be the best Christmas (for businesses) since the country requested a bailout in 2011”.

Vasco Mello, the vice-president of Portugal’s Commerce and Services Confederation, agrees.

“There are some expectations that things will improve,” he told the publication.

As DN points out, “the Portuguese are known for leaving everything to the last minute and Christmas is still three weeks away,” meaning business could still improve.

On a closing note, the newspaper stressed that more business could also mean more jobs. Marisa Duarte from employment company Hays Response told DN that companies are hiring more people this Christmas season compared to previous years when the economic crisis stripped staff to bare minimums.