Portugal: Leading indicators provide mixed signals in March
March 27, 2013
In March, the consumer confidence index deteriorated to minus 55.5 points from the minus 52.8 points recorded in February. At the current level, consumer sentiment is 2.9 points below the level observed in the same month last year. Consumers were notably more pessimistic on saving expectations over the next 12 months as well as regarding the national outlook for the next 12 months. In addition, a greater number of respondents expected a higher unemployment rate. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect private consumption to contract 2.9% in 2013, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month's estimate. For 2014, the panel anticipates private consumption to contract 0.4%.
In contrast, the economic climate indicator rose from minus 4.2 points in February to minus 3.9 points in March, thereby reaching its highest level in six months. That said, despite the small rise, economic sentiment remains depressed, which does not bode well for economic activity in the near term. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect fixed investment to contract 7.4% in 2013, which is up 0.2 percentage points from last month's estimate. For 2014, the panel sees investment falling 1.4%.