Portugal: GDP growth picks up in the third quarter
November 30, 2022
GDP growth improved to 0.4% on a seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis in the third quarter, from 0.1% in the second quarter. The reading confirmed the preliminary estimate and was above market expectations.
Private consumption growth improved to 1.1% seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter in Q3 from a 0.7% expansion in Q2, despite higher inflation during the period. Fixed investment contracted at a softer rate of 1.7% in Q3, following the 2.7% decrease recorded in the previous quarter, boosted by improvements in construction and transport equipment. Public consumption, meanwhile, bounced back, growing 0.2% in Q3 (Q2: -0.3% s.a. qoq).
On the external front, exports of goods and services growth fell to 1.2% in Q3, marking the worst result since Q2 2021 (Q2: +2.9% s.a. qoq), amid a more challenging international backdrop. In addition, imports of goods and services growth edged down to 1.2% in Q3 (Q2: +1.5% s.a. qoq).
On an annual basis, economic growth moderated to 4.9% in Q3, compared to the previous quarter's 7.4% growth. Q3's reading was the lowest since Q1 2021.
In Q4, soaring pessimism among consumers and firms due to higher inflation and tighter financing conditions suggests that momentum is slowing. That said, activity has recently been supported by a noticeable increase in the execution of investments tied to EU Recovery Funds.
Wouter Thierie, economist at ING, commented on the outlook:
“All in all, we still expect a year-on-year growth rate of 6.6% in Portugal thanks to a strong start to the year and a solid contribution from tourism, which has now seen a full recovery from the pandemic. High inflation and economic uncertainty will likely dampen investment and consumption over the winter months, but government support is expected to cushion the impact.”
Author: Adrià Solanes, Junior Economist