Portugal: Economy plunges in Q4
February 14, 2012
In the fourth quarter, GDP fell 1.3% over the previous period, according to a flash estimate released by Statistics Portugal on 14 February. The decline more than doubled the 0.6% contraction recorded in the third quarter, but was slightly better than market expectations of a 1.5% decline. The reading represents the Portuguese economy's fifth consecutive negative quarter. Detailed and more complete data will be published on 7 March. In annual terms, GDP contracted 2.7%, down from the 1.8% decline recorded in the third quarter. According to Statistics Portugal, the fourth quarter deterioration reflected a significant decline in domestic demand's contribution to overall growth, primarily caused by a shaper contraction in both private consumption and investment. Exports, on the other hand, continued to expand at a strong pace in annual terms. Based on preliminary data, the economy contracted 1.5% in the full year 2011, contrasting the 1.4% expansion recorded in 2010. The government anticipates the economy to contract 3.3% this year.