Portugal: GDP records largest drop on record in Q1 on Covid-19 impact
May 29, 2020
GDP plunged 3.8% in seasonally-adjusted, quarter-on-quarter terms in Q1 2020 (Q4 2019: +0.7% s.a. qoq), marking the steepest fall on record as Covid-19 started to take its toll.
Private consumption sank 3.0% s.a. qoq in Q1, contrasting the 0.1% uptick logged in the previous quarter amid lockdown measures and suspension of business activity. Government consumption fell 0.7% in Q1 (Q4 2019: +0.5% s.a. qoq). Meanwhile, fixed investment bounced back after three consecutive quarters of decline, growing 1.8% in Q1 (Q4 2019: -0.9% s.a. qoq).
Exports of goods and services collapsed 7.1% in Q1, marking the worst reading since Q1 2009 (Q4 2019: +4.1% s.a. qoq). Similarly, imports of goods and services shrank 3.1% in Q4 2019 (Q4: +0.7% s.a. qoq).
On an annual basis, the economy contracted 2.3% in Q1, swinging from Q4 2019's 2.2% expansion. Q1's reading marked the sharpest drop since Q1 2013.
Author: Javier Colato, Economist