In March, the consumer confidence and the economic sentiment indicators increased significantly in the Euro Area. In the same month, the raw materials and oil prices presented monthly change rates of -2.4% and 10.6%, respectively (-1.3% and 13.5% in February).
In Portugal, the economic climate indicator increased in March, after stabilizing in the previous month. The economic activity indicator stabilized in February, after decelerating since July. In February, the Short-Term Statistics revealed less negative indications in industry, construction and public works and some sectors of services. The private consumption indicator presented a more intense year-on-year growth rate in February, mainly reflecting the acceleration of the non-durable consumption component. In the same month, the Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) indicator increased significantly, due to the evolution of the construction component that shifted from a negative contribution in January to a positive one. Concerning the international trade of goods, exports and imports recorded year-on-year nominal change rates of 2.1% and -3.5% in February, respectively (0.5% and -1.3% in January).
Accordingly to the monthly estimates of Labour Force Survey, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (15 to 74 years old) shifted from 13.8% in January to 14.1% in February. The employed population (15 to 74 years old), seasonally adjusted, decreased 0.3% comparing with previous month and increased 0.3% comparing with February 2014.
The year-on-year change rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 0.3% in March (-0.2% in February), with rates of -0.5% in the goods component (-0.9% in the previous month) and 1.5% in the services component (0.8% in February).