Portugal: Economic climate improves further in March, but consumer confidence falls
March 28, 2014
In March, the consumer confidence index fell to minus 31.3 points. The print came in below the minus 28.7 points tallied in February, which had marked the highest level since October 2009. According to the statistical institute, the drop in consumer confidence was mainly driven by a more pessimistic assessment of the country's economic situation and deteriorating job prospects. Conversely, households' views on their personal financial situations improved in March. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to expand 0.5% in 2014, which is up 0.3 percentage points from last month's estimate. For 2015, the panel expects private consumption to increase 0.9%. The economic climate indicator improved in March, increasing from minus 0.6 points in February to minus 0.3 points. March's print marks the highest level since October 2010. Despite the improvement seen in recent months, economic sentiment remains weak, which does not bode well for economic activity in the near term. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect fixed investment to increase 1.3% in 2014, which is up 0.6 percentage points from last month's estimate. For 2015, the panel sees fixed investment expanding 2.2%.