Domestic material consumption

The "Domestic material consumption" fact sheet presents the amount of natural resources consumed by an economy as well as the productivity of these materials in terms of GDP. It also analyses Portugal's position compared to the other Member States of the European Union.

The Domestic Material Consumption (DMC) measures the total amount of materials used directly by a given economy (excluding air and water, but including the water contained in the materials). It is calculated by adding the material extraction by the economy (gross - Domestic Material Extraction) to the total imports of materials (raw and processed), minus the total exports of materials (raw and processed). The DMC is an indicator of the intensity of use of natural resources by the economy and makes it possible to assess the efficiency of its use.

Material productivity is the ratio between GDP and DMC and corresponds to the wealth created per unit of natural resources consumed. It is used to assess the decoupling between the use of natural resources and the growth of the economy).

This fact sheet concerns mainland Portugal and the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira and shall be updated on an annual basis.

Objectives and targets: 
  • Achieve less resource-intensive economic growth;
  • Ensure that resource consumption does not exceed the environment's regeneration capacity;
  • Improve resource efficiency and promote the design of economically and environmentally sustainable production and consumption policies, especially in the context of a transition to a circular economy.
Progress analysis:

In Portugal, the progress of the DMC is strongly influenced by the progress of the activity in the construction sector, as the materials that contribute the most to the total of this indicator are the non-metallic minerals, intensively used in this sector. In 2017, these materials represented about 59.6% of the DMC.

Last update: 
Monday, 6 May, 2019