In March, the economic sentiment and the consumer confidence indicators for the Euro Area (EA) recovered again. In the same month, the raw materials and oil prices presented monthly change rates of 3.7% and -2.5% (2.2% and 0.4% in February), respectively.
In Portugal, the economic climate indicator maintained in March the upward movement observed since the beginning of 2013, attaining the maximum value since October 2010. The economic activity indicator increased again in February, reaching the maximum since September 2010. Information from Short-Term Statistics revealed a less intense year-on-year reduction of economic activity in services and in construction and public works and a slight increase in industrial production, in February. The private consumption indicator increased less intensely in February, reflecting the reduction of the positive contribution of the non-durable consumption component. In the same month, the Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) indicator recorded a stronger decrease, due to the higher negative contribution of the construction component. Concerning the international trade of goods, exports and imports registered year-on-year nominal change rates of 5.4% and 7.0% in February (5.9% and 6.1% in the previous month), respectively. Without three months moving averages, nominal exports accelerated in February while imports decelerated.
The year-on-year change rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was -0.4% in March (-0.1% in February), with rates of -0.8% for the goods component in the last two months and 0.2% for the services component (less 0.7 percentage points than in the previous month). The Harmonized Consumer Price Index (HCPI) registered the same year-on-year change rate as the CPI in February and March, 0.9 percentage points lower than the EA HICP in March (0.8 percentage points lower in the previous month).