Portugal: Q1 contraction milder than expected
May 15, 2012
In the first quarter, GDP fell 0.1% over the previous quarter, according to a flash estimate released by Statistics Portugal on 15 May. The decline was only a fraction of the 1.3% contraction recorded in the fourth quarter and widely undershot market expectations of a 1.0% fall. That said, the reading represents the sixth consecutive quarter of contraction for the Portuguese economy. Detailed and more complete data will be published on 8 June. In annual terms, GDP contracted 2.2%, an improvement over the 2.9% decline recorded in the final quarter of 2011. According to Statistics Portugal, the first quarter reading reflected a reduction in the negative contribution of domestic demand to overall growth. On the other hand, the net contribution from the external sector declined, as imports improved more than exports.