Economics in a picture
Despite recent progress the level of digitalisation of the Portuguese economy and society remains below the European Union average
There is a broad consensus that digital technologies will become increasingly important for production processes and that they will also take on a key role in how firms will relate to each other and to their final consumers in the future. This has been clearly illustrated by the current context of pandemic crisis in which digital technologies have taken on a central role, in particular allowing many firms to keep operating in teleworking.
Digitalisation may be understood as the progressive integration of digital technologies into society with effects upon everyday lives of citizens and firms. According to the 2020 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), released by the European Commission, Portugal is ranked 19th among the 28 European Union (EU). This indicator was calculated based on the information available until 2019 and as such it includes the United Kingdom. The DESI is a composite indicator aggregating five broad dimensions with different weights: connectivity, human capital, use of internet services, integration of digital technology and digital public services. Despite the progress observed by Portugal in these dimensions they stand below those reported on average by other EU countries. Portugal has the best relative performance in connectivity (12th position) and digital public services (13th position). On the contrary and despite some recent progress, the worst relative performance is in the use of internet services (24th position) and the level of human capital (21st position).
For further details see https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/desi and the Box “How digital is the Portuguese economy?”, published in Banco de Portugal Economic Bulletin, May 2020.
Prepared by Fernando Martins. The analyses, opinions, and findings expressed above are those of the authors and do not necessarily coincide with those of Banco de Portugal or the Eurosystem.
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