In September, the economic sentiment indicator in the Euro Area (AE) extended the recovery profile, albeit at a slower pace, and the consumer confidence indicator increased slightly. In the same month, the prices of raw materials and oil presented monthly growth rates of 3.7% and -8.3%, respectively (7.6% and 0.3% in August).
In Portugal, not considering three-months moving average (see next section), the information already available for September reveals a progressively less intense contraction in economic activity between June and September. However, the improvement in September was slower than in previous months. The consumer confidence indicator decreased in September and economic climate indicator continued to recover, as in the four previous months, from the strong reductions registered in April. Confidence indicators increased in Construction and Public Works and in Services, and decreased in Trade and in Manufacturing Industry.
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 4.5% in September, on year-on-year terms, after decreasing 8.1% in August. The information regarding motor vehicles sales registered rates of change of -9.4%, -7.2% and -8.6% for passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and heavy duty vehicles (-0.1%, -40.5% and -7.2% in August, respectively).
According to the provisional monthly estimates of the Employment Survey, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (15 to 74 years) stood at 8.1% in August, 0.2 percentage points above the definitive rate observed in July (5.9% in May and 6.4% in August 2019). The provisional estimate of labour underutilisation rate was 15.3%, decreasing 0.3 percentage points from the rate of the previous month (12.6% in the same month of 2019). Employed population (15 to 74 years), also seasonally adjusted, decreased by 3.0% in year-on-year terms (-3.1% in July), but increased 0.5% when compared to the previous month.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) presented a year-on-year rate of change of -0.1% in September (null rate of change in August), with a -0.3% rate of change in the goods component (-0.1% in the previous month) and a null rate of change in the services component (0.1% in August).
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.