In February, the economic sentiment and the consumer confidence indicators suspended the previous downward movements in the Euro Area (EA). In the same month, the raw materials and oil prices presented monthly change rates of 2.8% and 5.2% (4.6% and 4.8 in January), respectively.
In Portugal, the economic climate indicator slightly decreased in February, maintaining the downward movement started in October 2010. The economic activity indicator, available until January, interrupted the descending path observed since September 2010. The private consumption indicator presented a less intense reduction in January, reflecting the lower negative contribution of current consumption. In the same month, the Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) indicator also diminished less intensely, as a result of the less negative evolution of the construction component. Concerning the international trade of goods, in nominal terms, exports and imports registered year-on-year change rates of 10.9% and -7.0% in January (11.9% and -10.2% in the previous month), respectively.
The year-on-year change rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) shifted from 3.5% in January to 3.6% in February. The goods and the services components of CPI presented year-on-year growth rates of 3.7% and 3.4% in February (3.9% and 2.8% in January), respectively. Excluding energy and unprocessed food products, the CPI registered a year-on-year growth rate of 2.2% in February (2.1% in the previous month). The differential between the year-on-year change rate of the Portuguese and the EA Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) was 0.9 p.p. in February, 0.2 p.p. more than in the previous month.