Portugal: Consumers turn less pessimistic in March; business sentiment deteriorates further
March 30, 2021
Consumer sentiment fell to minus 20.2 in March, notably below February’s minus 25.8 and logging the best reading in a year. This was likely the result of the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions from mid-March, and in anticipation of the further easing of the lockdown which began after the Easter holidays. March’s softer downturn largely reflected a significant ease in consumers’ pessimism with regard to the outlook for the economy in the next 12 months. In addition, households’ expectations regarding big-ticket purchases turned less negative.
Meanwhile, the three-month moving average of the economic climate indicator came in at minus 1.1 in March, edging down from minus 1.0 in February, with companies in the manufacturing and construction sectors turning less gloomy. That said, businesses in the services and trade sectors became more pessimistic.
Author: Frederico Teixeira de Abreu, Junior Economist