Spain up in Stanley Morgan’s top five picks

“Spain is the only euro zone peripheral economy that has been constantly improving positions in our quality ranking,” analysts at Stanley Morgan said on Friday in an investor note.

Although European markets have this week benefited from the recovery of manufacturing data in the US and China, the American investing bank highlighted Spain's performance in its Europe Strategy report. Spain has climbed the scale in October from the 8 place to 4, ahead of France–which gained a 7 place. Together with Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Germany and Denmark, Spain has made it into the top five list.

In the short term, however, the economic environment showed a new decline with euro zone jobless rate reaching 11.6 percent in September, one tenth worse than expectations. The preliminary consumer price index for October slowed down to +2.5 percent from +2.7 percent.

In Madrid, analysts agreed that Spain has continued to correct its external imbalance, as August was the second consecutive month that recorded a current account surplus. The external deficit is now 2.6 percent of GDP, the smallest since 1998.

About the impending bailout for Spain, the International Monetary Fund confirmed this week it could deploy cash in the operation of rescuing the country's public finances when Madrid officially requires help. “On the reforms that Spain is undertaking, we think that they are headed in the right direction and the key now is basically implementation,” said Gerry Rice, director at the IMF, speaking today at a conference in Washington, D.C.

Pressure on president Mariano Rajoy is certainly increasing. His policy efforts to kickstart the Spanish economy could be derailed by a euro zone that has been contracting throughout most of 2012. The overall GDP for the last quarter would push the common currency area again to negative territory, with -0.5 percent–it was -0.6 percent July to September.

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About the Author

Victor Jimenez
London contributor at thecorner.eu, reporting about the City and the Eurozone economies. He regularly writes for Spanish newspaper group Prensa Ibérica--some of his features include shared work with journalists of The Daily Telegraph and the BBC.