Portugal: Consumer confidence and economic sentiment both steady in February
According to the recent survey of consumer sentiment released by the National Statistical Institute (INE) on 28 February, consumer confidence remained broadly stable from the previous month. The indicator inched down to 1.6 points in February from 1.7 points in January. It therefore remains above the critical zero-point threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers. On the one hand, consumers were more optimistic about their personal financial situation over the next 12 months and their saving ability over the same time span. They were also more upbeat regarding the general economic situation over the next year. On the other hand, consumers held considerably less favorable perceptions over unemployment in the next 12 months, which offset gains made in the other subcomponents.
The overall economic climate indicator stabilized in February at 1.9 points, where it has been for the past three months. Economic sentiment in the manufacturing sector was more downbeat over less optimistic expectations on demand and production over the next three months. Business sentiment in the trade sector also deteriorated, due to less favorable perceptions about wholesale trade, and the services sector also saw a slight fade in optimism owing to a less positive outlook on demand over the next three months. In contrast, economic sentiment in the construction and public works sector improved somewhat, driven by better views on current order books and employment over the next three months, but nevertheless remained entrenched in pessimistic territory.