Economics in a picture
The Portuguese exports of motor vehicles are characterized by high import content, originating mostly from the euro area
The car production sector in Portugal has shown high buoyancy since the second half of 2017. The number of manufactured passenger cars increased by 22.3% year on year in the first half of 2019, following growth of 85.6% in 2018 and 27.7% in 2017. Exports in this sector continued to make a notable contribution to growth in total exports of goods, in nominal terms, in the first half of 2019, albeit lower than in the previous year (about 2 and 3 p.p. contributions respectively in the first half of 2019 and in 2018).
In the motor vehicle sector exports analysis, it is important to bear in mind that it is not possible to assess its contribution to economic growth solely based on its gross trade flows, and that it is also necessary to take into account the impact of imports associated with such exports. This is a sector highly integrated in global production chains, with an import content which amounted to around 70% in 2015. The import content of these exports originates mainly from the euro area and the United Kingdom, and most recently from China.
For more details see Box 6: “Car production in Portugal: overview, recent developments and challenges”, published in the Economic Bulletin of Banco de Portugal, October 2019.
Prepared by Sara Serra. The analyses, opinions and findings expressed above represent the views of the author and not necessarily those of Banco de Portugal or the Eurosystem.