Exports up 95%, unemployment up 20% – Northern region

  • Lusa
  • 7 October 2020

Exports from the north of Portugal grew 95% between April and July, but the number of unemployed increased 20% compared to the same period in 2019.

Exports from the north of Portugal grew 95% between April and July, a sign of recovery after the Covid-19 confinement, but the number of unemployed increased 20% compared to the same period in 2019, a report revealed on Wednesday.

According to Norte Conjuntura, the quarterly bulletin of the Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento da Região Norte (CCDR-N), to which Lusa had access, exports from the region “soared by 95% between April and July 2020, reaching a value of €2.04 billion and exceeding the national average growth (around 71%).”

“On the contrary, there has been a sharp increase in the number of unemployed registered in the region’s job centres, which rose by 20% in the 2nd quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter of 2019,” the report said presenting trends in economic developments in the region.

This variation in the number of job-centre enrolments “was nevertheless lower than nationwide (30.6%),” it added.

“The high number of workers (20.1% of the region’s employed population) in furlough has significantly mitigated the potential fall in employment”, he notes.

The number of workers in the region covered by this scheme “was 337,000 in the 2nd quarter of 2020, corresponding to 41% of the total for mainland Portugal.”

“The reduction in employment in the Norte region is estimated to have been 22.1% (instead of the 2.5% reduction actually transmitted by official statistics) had these measures not been taken,” the report said.

As for exports, the CCDR-N considers the value of exports in July – three months after the end of the compulsory confinement [due to the pandemic] – “exceeded the value of January, when the negative effects of the crisis were not yet truly felt.”

Compared with 2019, the balance of this recovery “remains negative”: in the 2nd quarter of 2020, the fall in exports “was 29.4% compared with the same period of the previous year (in Portugal the reduction was 30.6%).”

“The signs for the first month of the 3rd quarter of 2020 are more optimistic,” as in July the value of exports “was only 6.9% lower than in the same month of 2019,” the CCDR-N noted.

The fall in exports “until April and the rapid recovery that followed until July 2020” was “observed in the vast majority of exported goods, regardless of the technological profile or sector of activity.

The area linked to cars, tractors, cycles, other land vehicles, their parts and accessories “was unequivocally the most affected by the international closure of markets.

Between January and April, exports in this area “fell by 83.0%, from €249 million to €42 million.”

Between April and July, exports of these goods “increased from €42 million to €215 million,” an “increase of 406.6%.”

The Norte Conjuntura said that this “analysis of the participation of the Northern Region in international trade in goods is based on data compiled by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), with the location of the headquarters of the operator responsible for each flow of goods as a criterion for regional allocation.”

Therefore, “the results analysed correspond to definitive data up to 2019, preliminary for 2020” and are “subject to revision.”