Business in Spain at a glance

Círculo de Empresarios | Between January and September (Eurostat), exports of Spanish goods increased by 1.4% year-on-year, which is 2.5 pp less than in the same period of 2018, to €221.5 billion (18.4% of GDP). Concurrently, imports slowed down to a moderate growth of 1% year-on-year, compared with6.3% in the same period last year, standing at €248.2 billion (20.6% of GDP). By destination, extra-community exports (33.5% of the total) increased by 1.5% year-on-year (vs 3.8% average in 2016-2018period) and the sales to EU-28 countries (66.5% of the total) increased by 1% (vs 5.9% average in 2016-2018).

Competitiveness

In Q3 2019, the Competitiveness Trend Index 1of Spain fell by 0.8% in comparison to the EU-28. This confirms that, since January, the competitiveness via prices of the Spanish economy has improved due to the moderation of the CPI (0.1% interannual in October). At the same time, it showed a similar trend vis-à-vis all OECD countries and the BRICS, dropping by 2.6% and 5.1%, respectively.

Real estate sector

In September, the purchase and sale of housing decreased by 12% year-on-year, the second-largest decline of the year after August (-21.9%). By type, the sale of second-hand homes (83.1% of the total) decreased by 10.1% year-on-year, and that of new construction (16.9% of the total) by 20.1%.By Autonomous Communities, Aragon and the Region of Murcia were the only ones to report positive figures (3.7% and 3.1% year-on-year, respectively), while the largest setbacks occurred in Asturias (27.5%), La Rioja (25.2 %),and Navarra (22.6%).

These figures reflect the loss of dynamism of the real estate sector since the beginning of the year mainly due to the darkening outlook of the Spanish economy, the impact of the new Mortgage Law, and the national political instability. Specifically, between January and September, the purchase and sale of housing decreased on average by3.2% year-on-year, compared with the average increase of 12.4% reported in the same period of 2018.

Image: Foter.com