In June, consumer confidence and economic sentiment indicators in the Euro Area (EA) recovered more intensely than in the previous month, but still remaining at historically low levels. The prices of raw materials and oil presented monthly growth rates of 3.4% and 32.8% in June, respectively (4.1% and 59.3% in May).
In Portugal, not considering three-month moving averages (see next section), the information already available for June still reveals an intense contraction in economic activity, although less intense when compared to the previous month. Consumer confidence and economic climate indicators continued to recover in June, as in the previous month, from the strong reductions in April. Confidence indicators increased in all activity sectors, more intensely in Manufacturing and in Services, also recovering in Trade and in Construction and Public Works. In the 2nd quarter, this four qualitative indicators referring to the business activity sectors registered extremely negative balances of, in the same order, -31.7 (-6.1 in the first quarter), -52.9 (+2.7), -26.3 (+0.2) and -29.1 (-6.4).
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 decreased by 14.4% in June, on year-on-year terms, after decreasing 26.6% in May. In the 2nd quarter, this amount decreased by 26.3% (-0.5% in the first quarter). In June, the information regarding motor vehicles sales registered rates of change of -56.3% for passenger cars (-74.8% in May).In the 2nd quarter these sales decreased by 71.8% (-23.8% in the previous quarter). Also in June sales of light commercial vehicles and heavy-duty vehicles presented rates of change of -36.0% and -67.0% (-51.3% and -68.5% in May, respectively). In the 2nd quarter, in the same order, sales presented rates of change of -51.6% (-24.0% in the first quarter) and -68.8% (-29.6% in the previous quarter).
According to the Fast and Exceptional Enterprise Survey carried out together by Statistics Portugal and Banco de Portugal, results point to a slight improvement in the enterprises’ situation in the 2nd fortnight of June, when compared with the previous fortnight. Given the situation that could be expected without the pandemic, 66% of the enterprises remarked a negative impact on turnover (compared to 68% in the previous fortnight). This percentage increases to 87% in the Accommodation and food services and to 80% in the Transportation and storage sector.
According to the provisional monthly estimates of the Employment Survey, the decrease in employment intensified in May, being estimated that the employed population (15 to 74 years old), seasonally adjusted, has decreased by 2.2% when comparing with the previous month and 4.0% in year-on-year terms (rate of change of -1.8 in April). The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (15 to 74 years) was 5.5% in May, 0.8 percentage points below the definitive rate observed in April (6.4% in February and 6.6% in May 2019). The provisional estimate of labour underutilisation rate was 14.2% in May, increasing 0.8 percentage points from the rate of the previous month (13.0% in May 2019).
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) presented a year-on-year rate of change of 0.1% in June (rate of change of -0.7% in May), with a -0.9% rate of change in the goods component (-2.1% in the previous month) and 1.6% in the services component (0.4 percentage points above the rate of the two preceding months).
Despite the circumstances determined by the pandemic COVID-19, Statistics Portugal will try to maintain the statistical production and release calendar, although some adjustments might occur associated with the impact of the pandemic in obtaining primary information. For this reason, Statistics Portugal asks for the best collaboration by firms, households and public entities in answering to Statistics Portugal‘s requests to obtain information, using Internet and telephone as alternative channels to face-to-face contacts. The quality of official statistics, particularly its ability to identify the impacts of the pandemic, depends crucially on this collaboration that Statistics Portugal is grateful for.