Portugal's Minister of the Economy said that recent indicators of business activity and employment "lead him to think that the most critical point of the economic contraction is already behind us."
The Minister of the Economy, Pedro Siza Vieira, said on Wednesday that some recent indicators of business activity and employment “lead him to think that the most critical point of the economic contraction is already behind us”.
Speaking in Felgueiras, in the district of Porto, he said that, although we are still seeing “an increase in the number of unemployed,” we can see that “in June there have been more job offers and more worker placements than in May.”
“It is still very little, but clearly there is already a slowdown in the rise of unemployment,” he stressed.
For Pedro Siza Vieira, “it was very important to verify in the response to the INE survey that 99% of companies say they are already operating and that the liquidity perspectives are now better than they were in April,” when the state of emergency was in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Now that economic activity is beginning to resume, albeit slowly, support [to businesses] has to be directed to help and support the payment of salaries of those who are not yet working in full.”
The minister insisted that the current moment “is one of great uncertainty,” recalling that the rate of underutilization of labor in February, before the pandemic, was 12.4% and has now exceeded 15%. However, he went on to say that “the rate of growth of unemployment has clearly slowed.”
“In June, for the first time, we had more offers and more job placements than in previous months,” he told reporters.