More businesses to face closure

Business associations in Portugal fear several companies may not survive 2012 and be forced to shut down.

Carla Salsinha from the Union of Commerce and Service Associations, UACS, says several businesses will be feeling the pressures of the economic crisis and shrinking consumer spending even more this year.

She said retail sales in 2011 are expected to have fallen by as much as 40%, although final figures are yet to be released.

“With prices already discounted by around 60% and 70%, businesses are making dwindling profit margins but know promotions are the only way of getting rid of stock,” she said.

Meanwhile, the president of the Commerce and Services Confederation (CCP), João Vieira Lopes, added that the sale of household items such as electrical appliances and furniture had fallen by 30% in 2011.

“We are not feeling very optimistic. We fear more than 100 stores will close down each month in 2012,” he said.