Portugal & Spain
The Portuguese economy has recovered from the pandemic, recording the third-highest growth in the EU. The country’s GDP has increased by 1.6% and the central bank has raised its forecast to 2.7% for 2023. Public debt is even lower now than it was in 2019. This has become possible owing to structural changes within the Portuguese economy and the contribution of a tourism sector which keeps outperforming its pre-pandemic levels and setting new records. However, the impact of an ageing population continues to put pressure on the economy.
For the first time since March 2021, inflation in Spain fell below 2% in June - corresponding to the target set by the European Central Bank for the whole Eurozone. Price increases slowed for fuel, electricity and food such that the consumer price index grew only 1.6%.
The Spanish economy has fully recovered after the pandemic. Economic growth has already reached 0.6% and has exceeded predictions. There has been an increase in investments in the construction and machinery sectors and a significant 5.7% rise in exports. The only negative trend remains in household consumption.
With the global decrease in demand, raw material prices in Portugal and Spain have fallen accordingly. Low material availability has partially stabilized prices but, as demand continues to slow, prices are dropping further for all non-ferrous scraps. Copper is the only metal for which demand appears better than for other metals.