LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal’s business confidence edged up in December, marking one straight year of monthly improvements from record lows hit in December 2012 as the bailed out economy started to recover from its worst recession since the 1970s.
The economic climate indicator, which measures business confidence, stood at minus 1.0 last month, up from minus 1.2 in November, and much better than minus 4.1 a year earlier, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said on Monday.
INE said its consumer confidence indicator also rose to a negative reading of 40.4 in December from minus 41.8 in November and minus 59.8 in December 2012.
The indices started rebounding at the start of 2013, when Lisbon returned to the bond market for the first time since its 2011 bailout.
The economy grew in the second and third quarters of 2013, but is still expected to have shrunk about 2 percent for the whole of last year. The government expects slight full-year growth to return in 2014, largely helped by exports growth while the economy remains under stress from austerity measures applied under the terms of the EU/IMF bailout.
Reporting by Andrei Khalip, editing by Axel Bugge