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Portugal Trade Deficit Narrows

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Statistics Portugal have just released the countries Trade Balance figures for the month of April, the trade deficit is showing a moderate improvement to come in at -€2.207Bn for the month from the -€2.6Bn experienced in March.

There is however a mixed message in the country’s Gross Domestic Product data also released earlier today. The annual figure for the first quarter of 2014 is coming in year on year at 1.3% growth, this is impressive for a country in Portugal’s position but it represents a fall from the 1.7% experienced in the last quarter of 2013. The quarter on quarter figure makes less inspiring reading, this has fallen to a level of -0.6% from the positive 0.6% expansion noted in Q4 of last year. These are the final figures for the country’s GDP and as such they both represent an improvement on the preliminary readings taken several week’s ago, these figures projected annual growth at just 1.2% and a quarterly contraction of 0.7%.

Statistics Portugal have noted that the positive revision in the GDP numbers relate directly to the unexpected slowing in the balance of trade deterioration during the early months of this year. Imports rose by 8.5% during the first quarter of the year compared to just 6.4% the previous quarter, this was partially driven by the 2.9% increase in domestic demand that benefited the Portuguese economy in the first quarter. This pick up in domestic demand was driven by increased investment over the period, investment in Portugal in fact powered ahead by almost 13% in the initial period of the year. This has all been tempered however by a fall off in the exports sector, export growth fell back to just 4.3% during Q1 compared to a more impressive 9.1% expansion during the final three months of 2013.

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