GDP falls 3.2% in Portugal and 0.5% in the Eurozone in 2012

In Portugal, GDP fell 1.8%qoq and was down 3.8%yoy in Q4. This decline is greater than what had been expected by most economists (Consensus was for -1.0%qoq and -2.2%yoy in Q4). This negative surprise may be partly related to the change in seasonality, resulting from fiscal policies, particularly the elimination of holiday pay, which may not have been be fully corrected by the Statistics Office (INE). However, given that most European countries experienced a significant decline, this effect is likely to be relatively small.

The demand details will be available on 11 March. However, according to INE, the positive contribution of net external demand decreased significantly in the Q4, with a smaller decrease in imports of goods and services and a reduction in exports of goods and services. Conversely, the decline in investment was less significant than previously.

The sharp decline in Q4 has led us to revise down our GDP growth forecasts for the coming years. Macrometria now expects GDP to fall 2.2% in 2013 (previously -1.6%) and to rise by 1.5% in 2014.

In the Eurozone, GDP also fell more than expected, -0.6%qoq and -0.9%yoy (Consensus was -0.3%qoq ad -0.6%yoy). Most Member States recorded a significant decline in output, with Germany contributing the most to the qoq decline due to a 0.6% contraction. France was down 0.3%qoq, Italy down 0.9%qoq and Spain down 0.7%qoq.