Portugal: Consumer confidence and economic sentiment improve in March
According to the recent survey of consumer sentiment released by the National Statistics Institute (INE) on 27 March, consumer confidence shot up to 2.8 points in March from 1.6 points in February. It moved further up from the critical zero-point threshold that separates optimism from pessimism; the indicator has been in optimistic territory since April of last year. Underpinning the improvement in overall sentiment was consumers’ more favorable outlook on their personal financial situation in the coming 12 months, along with more optimism regarding unemployment over the same period. An upturn in these sub-components more than offset slightly more pessimistic views on the general economic situation and savings ability over the next 12 months.
The overall economic climate indicator edged up to 2.1 points in March after remaining stable at 1.9 points in the preceding three months. There was an upturn in economic sentiment in the construction and public works sector owing to improved outlooks on current order books and employment over the next three months. On the other hand, business sentiment in the manufacturing sector moderated slightly over less optimism on stocks of finished goods and production in the next three months. The services sector also registered more downbeat sentiment over the business situation and demand in the next three months. Meanwhile, sentiment in the trade sector remained unchanged from the previous month.