In May, the economic sentiment indicator decreased and the consumer confidence indicator recovered in the Euro Area (EA). In the same month, the raw materials and oil prices presented monthly change rates of -2.1% and -5.2% (-1.1% and -4.3% in April), respectively.
In Portugal, the economic climate indicator slightly recovered between March and May, interrupting the strong downward movement started in October 2010. However, most of the quantitative indicators presented more intense year-on-year reductions in April when compared with the previous month. In fact, the economic activity indicator diminished in April, maintaining the descending path observed since September 2010. The private consumption indicator diminished more intensely in April, mainly due to the more significant negative contribution of the current consumption component. In the same month, the Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) also recorded a more intensive reduction, reflecting the negative evolution of the construction and transport material components. Concerning the international trade of goods, exports and imports in nominal terms registered year-on-year change rates of 8.4% and -7.7% in April (12.0% and -3.0% in the previous month), respectively.
The year-on-year change rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) diminished from 3.0% in April to 2.7 in May. This behaviour was due to the deceleration of the goods component, which moved from a year-on-year change rate of 3.0% to 2.4%. The services prices accelerated tenuously, from 3.1% in April to 3.2%. Excluding energy and unprocessed food products, the CPI registered a year-on-year growth rate of 1.6% in May (1.7% in the previous month). The differential between the year-on-year change rates of the Portuguese and the EA Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) maintained in May the value observed in April (0.3 p.p.).