Consumer Confidence in Portugal - What does it really matter?
Confidence, in general, and consumer confidence, in particular, are subject to an increasing interest by many agents, such as central banks and governments, at a national level, as well as by supra-national entities, such as the European Commission of the European Union. Although this interest is shared by the academic community, the literature in this area is mainly focussed on the use of consumer confidence to predict variables which describe the business cycle, like consumption. Instead, the objective of our paper is to analyse the evolution of consumer confidence in Portugal and examine which factors underpin its formation. Our empirical study uses monthly data for the period January 1987 — December 2008. We find that consumer confidence, besides presenting some inertia, is basically explained by electoral circumstances.
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