Portugal: Consumer confidence nosedives and business sentiment weakens in March
Consumer sentiment slumped to minus 13.7 points in March from minus 7.6 points in February, marking an over four-year low. The deterioration pointed to the effect that the Covid-19 outbreak is beginning to have on consumers’ outlook, with a marked increase in pessimism regarding the general economic situation in Portugal spearheading the overall fall. Likewise, households had a dimmer outlook regarding their ability to make major purchases in the coming year, as well as over their financial situation in the past 12 months. Furthermore, household’s confidence regarding their own financial situation for the coming 12 months slipped into negative territory for the first time in over a year in March.
Meanwhile, the overall economic climate indicator fell to 1.8 from 2.2 in February, hitting the lowest level since December 2016. Business sentiment fell across the board, with deepening pessimism in the construction and manufacturing sectors accompanied by falling optimism in the trade and service sectors—the latter driven by a darkening demand outlook.