The Portuguese economy presented a net borrowing 0.2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the year ending in the first quarter of 2019 (in the fourth quarter of 2018 the balance had been positive at 0.2% of GDP), interrupting the series of positive balances started in the third quarter of 2012. This result was determined by the negative balance of goods and services transactions with the Rest of the World, with imports and exports registering growth rates of 2.1% and 1.0% respectively.
The net borrowing of the economy was related, to a great extent, to the acceleration of Gross Capital Formation (GCF). The increase by 2.1% of Gross Savings of the economy in the year ending in the first quarter of 2019 was insufficient to finance the increase by 4.4% of GCF. The increase in investment was particularly relevant in the case of Non-Financial Corporations, with the investment rate reaching 24.1%, the highest rate registered since 2010.
The Households' net lending decreased to 0.4% of GDP in the first quarter of 2019, 0.3 p.p. less than the previous quarter. This evolution was also mainly determined by the increase in investment, with the sector's savings rate reducing by 0.1 p.p. to 4.5% of disposable income.
The net borrowing of General Government (GG) decreased by 0.4 p.p. in the year ending in the first quarter of 2019, compared to the previous quarter, representing 0.1% of GDP. Taking quarterly figures as reference, the GG balance was positive in the first quarter of 2019, reaching 0.4% of GDP (-1.0% in the same period of the previous year).