According to Norte Conjuntura, the quarterly bulletin of the Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento da Região Norte (CCDR-N), to which Lusa had access, between April and July, exports from the region "soared by 95 percent between April and July 2020, reaching a value of 2,040 million Euros and exceeding the growth of the national average (around 71 percent).

"On the contrary, there has been a sharp increase in the number of unemployed registered in the region's Job Centres, which rose by 20.0 percent in the 2nd quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter of 2019," describes the report presenting trends in economic developments in the region.

This variation in the number of job centre enrolments "was nevertheless lower than that observed on a national scale (30.6 percent)," it adds.

"The high number of workers (20.1 percent of the region's employed population) in lay-offs has significantly mitigated the potential fall in employment".

The number of workers in the region covered by this scheme "was 337,000 in the 2nd quarter of 2020, corresponding to 41 percent of the total for mainland Portugal".

"The reduction in employment in the North region is estimated to have been 22.1 percent (instead of the 2.5 percent reduction actually transmitted by official statistics) had these measures not been taken," the paper notes.

As for exports, the CCDR-N considers it "more impressive" that the value of exports in July - three months after the end of the compulsory confinement [due to the pandemic] - "exceeded the value of January, when the negative effects of the crisis were not yet truly felt.

Compared with 2019, the balance of this recovery "remains negative": in the 2nd quarter of 2020, the fall in exports "was 29.4 percent compared to the same period of the previous year (in Portugal the reduction was 30.6 percent)".

"The signs for the first month of the 3rd quarter of 2020 are more optimistic," as in July the value of exports "was only 6.9 percent lower than in the same month of 2019," the CCDR-N noted.

The fall in exports "until April and the rapid recovery that followed until July 2020" were "a pattern observed in the vast majority of exported goods, regardless of the technological profile or sector of activity.

The area linked to cars, tractors, cycles, other land vehicles, their parts and accessories "was unequivocally the most affected by the international closure of markets.

Between January and April, exports in this area "fell by 83.0 percent, from 249 million to 42 million Euros".

Between April and July, exports of these goods "increased from 42 to 215 million Euros", an "increase of 406.6 percent".

The Norte Conjuntura warns that this "analysis of the participation of the Northern Region in international trade in goods is based on data compiled by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), with the location of the headquarters of the operator responsible for each flow of goods as a criterion for regional allocation.

Therefore, "the results analysed correspond to definitive data up to 2019, preliminary for 2020" and are "subject to revision".

As for the tourism indicators, "they reflect a favourable evolution, even though they fall well short of 2019," with the number of guests increasing "exponentially between April and July," but remaining "less than half of the corresponding figure for the previous year”.

A positive development "was recorded in the net average monthly wage of employees, which reached 909 Euros in the second quarter of 2020".

In Portugal, "the net average monthly wage grew by 4.8 percent in real terms, reaching 956 Euros".