Portugal: Industrial sector contracts at the sharpest pace in nearly seven years in March
Portugal’s industrial sector remained in the doldrums at the end of the first quarter, contracting at a much sharper pace in March compared to February. Industrial production fell 7.6% over the same month of the previous year in March, down from a revised 2.1% decline in February (previously reported: -2.5% year-on-year). It was the sharpest contraction since April 2012, and reflects a wider downturn in industrial activity in the Eurozone amid ebbing global momentum. Steep losses in the electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply sub-sector led the notable downturn, along with a swing to contraction in manufacturing output. These more than offset a noteworthy acceleration in the mining and quarrying sub-sector.
In seasonally-adjusted, month-on-month terms, industrial output fell 1.3% in March, slighter softer than February’s revised 1.6% drop (previously reported: -1.5% month-on-month). Meanwhile, the annual average variation in industrial output fell to minus 1.5% in March, from minus 0.6% in February.