Portuguese more confident about economy but still EU’s most pessimistic

1 March 2006

Brussels, Belgium, 01 March – Portugal’s Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) posted a slight improvement in February of this year, despite continuing at the lowest level in the European Union (EU), European Commission figures published Tuesday in brussels show.

The index, which reflects the monthly progress of economic activity based on the opinion of economic players as well as consumers, rose 1.2 points in Portugal (from 88.1 in January to 89.3 in February).

The euro zone average also rose 1.2 points (hitting 102.7) while for all the EU countries the increase was of 1.8 points (to 104.1 points).

Confidence in the Portuguese economy saw a two-point increase in the industrial and services sectors.

The worst fall in economic confidence in Portugal took place in the retail sales sector, a dip of nine points, while the construction indicator remained unaltered.

After Portugal, Spain posted the worst economic sentiment indicator (91.2 points), on registering the only fall (4.2 points) amongst the 15 original member states.

The ESI is made up of the industrial confidence indicator (40 percent), confidence in services indicator (30), consumer confidence indicator (20), construction confidence indicator (5) and retail sales confidence indicator (5). (macauhub)