Spain’s 2017 budget leaves little room for manoeuvre. It represents exactly 39%, the percentage the state can freely make decisions on what do with from what it raises and borrows. It shows that, despite the fact the economy is doing well, we have a lot of problems.
Articles by Joan Tapia
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Since the beginning of 2014, the Spanish economy has been recovering from a very tough crisis – unemployment jumped from 8% in 2008 to 26% at the start of 2014 and has now fallen to 18.9%. This is in part thanks to the ECB’s extremely expansionary monetary policy and low interest rates. Now after Donald Trump’s victory, everything could become unstable.
It’s embarrassing that the PSOE is saying the labour reform has been negative and that the PP is promising to lower taxes when Spain has to negotiate new spending cuts with Brussels.
With less than 50 days to go to the general elections, which perhaps may be more decisive than on other occasions, and the Catalan Parliament voting on the start of the secession from Spain, neither economic nor political confidence is faltering.
BARCELONA | July 17, 2015 | By Joan Tapia | The lowering of the income tax while taking money from the country’s pension funds can only be justified as a way to inject optimism before the election.
BARCELONA | By Joan Tapia | We don’t know what 2016 holds for us, but we do know that 2015 will be economically positive. From an economic point of view, 2015 may even be a mini-boom. Apart from the GDP, which has been growing for five quarters, the tax collection is doing relatively well. The central government will stop containing the public spending, even for the Spanish regions, because 2015 is an electoral year. The fiscal reform will be a sort of increase in salary that will boost consumption.
BARCELONA | By Joan Tapia | Last month, I warned about the serious political problem in Spain, which was (and is) focused on the Catalonian crisis and the rise of the new political party Podemos. Both could disrupt the political system and kill off imperfect bipartisanship. Meanwhile, the economy was starting to show some signs of improvement. In November, the perception that the economy is improving while politics are worsening has increased and multiplied. It is difficult to argue with the fact that the economy is going better than last year.
BARCELONA | By Joan Tapia | The emergence of the leftwing party Podemos (We Can) and the ghost of a forthcoming political instability weight more on Spanish politics than an unquestionable economic improvement (which is too slow and risky). Anyway the advantage of the conservative Popular Party (PP) in power compared to the Socialist Party (PSOE) was reduced during summer from 8.8 to 3.6 points.
BARCELONA | By Joan Tapia | The Spanish economy has come out of recession and citizens have begun to notice, encouraged by a slight increase in employment creation (albeit temporary, part-time and minimum wage employment, but it at least entails an increase in those joining the workforce). Thus, the CIS’ Economic Confidence Indicator –which ranges from 0 and 100, recorded a low 35.7 (although it represents a 16% increase with respect to 2013). For its part, the Consumer Confidence indicator –which is different and ranges from 0 and 200- is at 89.3, 22% higher than the data from September 2013. The trend appears to point to an awakening of domestic demand.
BARCELONA | Joan Tapia| That the Spanish economy grew by 0.4% quarterly in the 1Q14, and by 0.6% yearly is a real green shoot. After several years of recession, GDP is to grow moderately, around 1% in year 2014. However, employment continued falling by 184,000 people, at an annual pace of 0.5%. A slap in the face for those who told the recovery was more intense than expected.