Taking 2018 as a reference year and with results for the triennium 2018-2020, the new edition of the Culture Satellite Account (CSA) reveals that cultural activities accounted for around 2.4% of the Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2018 and 2019 and 2.3% in 2020. The reduction in 2020 reflected a stronger impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on these activities than that seen in the national economy, estimating that the culture GVA has decreased by 10.6%, which compares with a reduction of 5.8% in total GVA. The contraction of cultural activities in 2020 was largely associated with the strong reduction in the consumption expenditure of cultural products by households, which decreased by around 20%, representing only 2.2% of total household expenditure when, in 2018 and 2019, corresponded to 2.6%.

In 2018, culture generated a GVA close to 4.2 billion euros and covered around 133.6 thousand jobs, representing 2.8% of total employment. The average compensation of employees in cultural activities was higher (1.8%) than in the national economy.

In 2018, the most representative domain in terms of cultural units was the Performing arts (31.1%). Audiovisual & multimedia and Inter-disciplinary stood out for their relative importance in the structure of GVA (24.8%) and employment (22.5%), respectively. Dissemination / Trade was the most representative function in the distribution of cultural units (36.2%) and GVA (34.1%), while Production / Publishing took precedence in the structure of cultural employment (33.5%).

Among the six European Union countries with available and updated information, Portugal appears with the lowest relative weight of culture in the national GVA.

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