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The war in Ukraine does not stop the Portuguese economy, which in March begins to grow by more than 14%

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The Portuguese economy accelerated again in early March, growing by more than 14% compared to last year, and reinforcing the positive trend of February, reports the daily indicator of economic activity (DEI), calculated by the Bank of Portugal (BoP), and whose data was updated on Thursday. The evolution of this indicator shows that, at least for now, the Portuguese economy has not been penalized by the war situation in Ukraine. But the value of the DEI should be read with caution, as there is an important base effect to consider: this time last year, the country was “closed” during the second general lockdown to halt the pandemic of covid-19, which dictated a break in activity.

According to a note published by the BdP on its website, “in the week ending March 6, the daily economic activity indicator (DEI) points to an annual rate of change in activity higher than that observed during the week former”. .

During this week – which covers the period between February 28 and March 6, i.e. after the start of the military conflict in Ukraine – the DEI’s weekly moving average indicates an annual growth in activity. economy of 14.5%. This after the previous week – which covers the period between February 22 and February 27 – recorded a 10% expansion. During the month of February, the weekly DEI average recorded growth of between 9% and 10%. Expressive figures, but influenced by the base effect: this time last year Portugal was in general confinement – which started on January 15 and lasted until mid-March.

The BoP also calculates the three-year DEI rate, which reflects the cumulative growth over a three-year period. This rate, in the week ending March 6, “stabilized”, writes the OTP. This rate was actually in positive territory, at 4.1%, indicating that economic activity in Portugal was higher than that recorded in the same week in 2019, before the covid-19 pandemic. The three-year rate has been positive since mid-February, signaling that since then economic activity in Portugal has been above pre-pandemic crisis levels.

The DEI is a composite indicator, calculated by the BoP, which gathers high-frequency data and aims to provide a near real-time picture of the evolution of economic activity in Portugal. Thus, it covers several dimensions, summarizing information on the following daily variables: road traffic of heavy commercial vehicles on highways, consumption of electricity and natural gas, freight and mail unloaded at national airports and purchases made with cards at the Portugal by residents and non-residents. residents. The data is usually updated on Thursdays by the OTP.

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