ACCA Easter (1).jpg

Economic perspectives show tendency for long recession

The recession and austerity measures continue to be reflected in statistics measuring levels of business and consumer confidence.

According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), economic pointers for last month and this continue to reveal a strong adverse climate compared with the same figures in 2010.

Values plummeted to -2.3% – the lowest since May 2009 – with almost all indicators showing signs of deterioration.

Consumer confidence, however, rose slightly from -50.7 to -49.1 points, although not far off from the historic minimum of -51 registered in March 2009 at the height of the international crisis which followed the financial meltdown in the United States at the end of 2008.

The only exception to an otherwise bleak outlook was the manufacturing sector which climbed from -14.8 points in October last year to -14 points.

However, indicators for the construction and public works sectors reached a new historic minimum not seen since 1997, falling to -55.5 points.

Confidence figures in the retail and services sectors also revealed significant falls from -13.5 to -16 points in the former and -15.9 points to -17.3 points since April.

The deterioration in confidence in all sectors is driven by a fall in investment and consumer demand.

The only indicators bucking the trend are export figures which remain on the increase despite a contraction in the Portuguese economy.

The Government, Bank of Portugal, European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund have all been predicting that the country’s GDP will contract for the rest of this year and most of next.