The Spanish economy grew at a rate of 3.2% in 2016, although signs of a slowdown are beginning to appear. Almost all the external factors which had boosted GDP growth latterly (the so-called tail winds) may disappear over this year.
On January 25, the rise in the wholesale price of electricity in Spain exceeded 100 euros per megawatt-hour, its record level. For many years, how electricity prices in Spain have been established has been a total nonsense, since the electricity pool functions like a marginal market. A division of the Supreme Court has decided to start proceedings to find out what the reasons are for the successive increases in electricity bills.
Everything seems to indicate that the Bank of Spain inspectors, one of the biggest elitist groups in Spain, feared even by the most powerful bankers, are not currently in a good place. The blame lies in the fact that the ECB, or rather the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), has taken over the function of banking supervision. This has left the inspectors somewhat bereft of functions, workload and influence.
Fernando Rodríguez | Next Banco Popular’s chairman Emilio Saracho is scheduled by end-February. People are waiting to see what his initiatives will be. Saracho is a deacon of coporate banking in Spain. Much is expected from him.
The Industry Minister is preparing a new renewable energy auction for the end of March. It plans to invite tenders for 3,000 technology neutral MW. This will try to avoid some of the mistakes made in the previous one at the start of 2016. Furthermore, it is another boost for these technologies to comply with the EU directive of fulfilling at least 20% of its total energy needs with renewables by 2020.
The January update of the IMF’s “World Economic Outlook”, published in October, confirms that Spain will recover this year all the GDP growth lost during the economic crisis, exceeding in 2017 for the first time the volume of growth in 2008.
All governments find unexpected dwarfs popping up all over the place, but this one has them in abundance. The latest one, the problem of the eight bankrupt motorways, which they will have to deal with and pay for, according to a court decision. But the government has said it will only pay the concessionary companies – made up of constructors and banks – half of the accumulated debt of 5 billion euros.
Spain’s National Statistics Institute said yesterday the number of purchase-sale transactions in the property market grew 17.3% in November to 33,806 from a year ago (and compared with a rise of 6.5% in October). That makes ten consecutive months of year-on-year rises. The data confirms the property market is recovering its role as a key economic driver.
Spain continues to hold its own among the most important destinations for foreign investment. In 2014, it was ranked twelfth in the world and third in Europe in terms of net inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flow and ninth in terms of stock. In fact, there are an estimated 10,700 subsidiaries of foreign companies in Spain generating 28% of national turnover to €434.4 billion, as last data of 2013 given by the Association Multinacionales por Marca España point.
Analyst consensus is unanimous. Stock markets will continue to rise in 2017 and, so they say, Spain’s Ibex 35 will be the strongest performer. While other European markets could see rises of between 8%-10% this year, some analysts predict the Ibex could climb above the 11,000 level in 2017. If this is the case, the revaluation would be a spectacular 15%-16%.