MADRID | The Corner | With a downward euro (11-year-minimums) and commodities in free fall too, investors are turining again to the housing sector. In Spain, it could become a safe haven again given the low return on deposits and the stock markets’ high volatility.
MADRID | By Fernando G. Urbaneja | The macro (and micro) piece of data tarnishing the image of Spain is that of unemployment, an anomaly for a developed economy. It is not new but a problem we have been suffering for the last three decades. Even during prosperity times, unemployment reached double digits (8% in the most favourable moments). The last great recession exacerbated the problem and jobless rate soared to 25%, bluffering analysts and market makers.
MADRID | The Corner | Non-performing loans (NPL) in the financial sector may have reached their highest rate in Spain, according to Moody’s, thanks to the new economic fundamentals, the slightly better employment data, home prices’ stabilization and the last consumer confidence numbers.
MADRID | The Corner | In spite of, or maybe, thanks to the so-called Spailout (2012), Spain is today one of Europe’s driving forces. The International Monetary Fund’s estimates on global economy point to the country as the outperformer of the Eurozone for the first time in six years. Its GDP would grow by 2% this year and 1.8% in 2016.
MADRID | The Corner | Economic confidence in Spain reached its highest level in December since June 2007 (105.6 points from 104.2 the previous month), according to the European Commission. The figures show an improvement in trust from consumers, the services sector and retailers.
MADRID | By Francisco López | Spaniards consume more and save less. Household saving rate continues to fall and in the third quarter of 2014 stood at 9.4% of disposable income, the lowest since the end of 2008.
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.
MADRID | The Corner | It was expected that the fall in the oil prices would have an impact on the Spanish CPI, and that is what has happened. The CPI dropped by six tenths in December with respect to the previous month, while it reduced its interannual rate by seven tenths to -1.1%. This fall is the result almost exclusively of the decline of the oil price, whose fluctuations represent more than 50% of the variability of the Spanish inflation.
MADRID | By Fernando G. Urbaneja | Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy faces 2015 with electoral commitments and weak prospects. The goal of the Popular Party (PP) is to reach enough votes so as to maintain a large part of its power in the Spanish regions and city councils where it has the majority. The final goal is achieving the re-election in the central government by means of achieving the recovery.
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.