Covid-19 causes “strong decrease in economic activity” in March

  • ECO News e Lusa
  • 20 April 2020

INE released this Monday the Monthly Economic Survey and the figures confirm that there was a "strong decrease" in the economy last month.

The National Statistics Institute (INE) confirms what was already expected: the information already available for March indicates that there has been a “strong decrease in economic activity”. The data is included in the Monthly Economic Survey released this Monday.

“In Portugal, not considering three-months moving averages, the information already available for March reveals a strong decrease in economic activity,” summarises INE.

In March, the economic climate indicator recorded the largest drop in the series, reaching its lowest value since December 2014. The drop in confidence is transversal to all sectors, with the indexes reaching the minimums of the previous crisis (2013/2014).

The consumer confidence indicator also recorded a “significant reduction”, reaching its lowest value since February 2016. “This outcome was mainly due to expectations regarding the country’s economic development, which has been at its lowest since December 2013,” explains INE, pointing out that the qualitative indicator of private consumption fell sharply to 2014 lows.

The statistics office explains that “although the information in this highlight reflects to some extent the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic, it is expected that the trends analysed here will change in the next releases”. “In any case, the information made available today is useful to establish a benchmark for assessing future developments,” it argues.

Worldwide, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused more than 165,000 deaths and infected over 2.3 million people in 193 countries and territories.

In Portugal, where the first confirmed cases were registered on March 2nd, the last figures from the General Directorate of Health (DGS) cited 714 deaths among 20,206 confirmed infections. Among these patients, 1,243 were admitted to hospitals, 610 have recovered and the rest are convalescing at home or in other institutions.