In December, the Euro Area (AE) economic sentiment indicator increased, almost offsetting the decrease registered in November. Consumer confidence indicator in AE recovered significantly in December, after decreasing in the previous two months. The prices of raw materials and oil presented rates of 8.8% and 13.9% compared with the previous month, respectively (5.8% and 5.7% in November).
In Portugal, not considering three-months moving average (see next section), the information available for November and December reveals an interruption in the partial recovery of economic activity observed since May. However, consumer confidence and economic climate indicators increased in December. The same happened with confidence indicators in the Manufacturing Industry, in Construction and Public Works and, slightly, in Trade. The exception occurred in Services where the indicator decreased.
The overall amount of national withdrawals, payment of services and purchases at automatic payment terminals carried out on the automatic teller machines of the Multibanco network registered, in year-on-year terms, reductions of 11.8% and 7.8% in November and December, respectively (decrease of 6.3% in October). The information regarding motor vehicles sales registered rates of change of -19.6% for passenger cars, -19.1% for light commercial vehicles and -15.7% for heavy-duty vehicles (-27.9%, -1.4% and + 16.7% in November, respectively).
According to the monthly estimates of the Labour Force Survey, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (15 to 74 years old) stood at 7.2% in November, 0.3 percentage points less than in October (8.1% in August 2020 and 6.7% in November 2019). The rate of underutilization of labour stood at 14.0%, 0.9 percentage points less than in the previous month (12.5% in the same period of 2019). The estimate of the employed population (15 to 74 years old), also seasonally adjusted, decreased by 0.9% in year-on-year terms (-1.7% in October), but increased by 0.6% compared to the previous month.
In 2020, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) annual average rate of change was nil (0.3% in 2019). The CPI monthly rate was -0.2% in November and December.
In December, the manufacturing price index for manufacturing industry presented a year-on-year rate of change of -4.9% (-5.2% in the previous month), and excluding the energy component, registered a year on year rate of change of -0.8% in November and December.
Despite the circumstances determined by the pandemic COVID-19, Statistics Portugal calls for the best collaboration by companies, families and public entities in responding to Statistics Portugal’s data requests. The quality of official statistics, particularly its ability to identify the impacts of the pandemic COVID-19, crucially depends on this collaboration, which Statistics Portugal thanks in advance.