According to new indicators not available at the beginning of the year, the Spanish economy recorded a decline of 10.8% in 2020, a figure that improves by 0,2% that previously forecast by the National Statistics Institute. On a yoy basis, GDP in the Q4 contracted by 8.9% (-9.1% in the preliminary data). There have been more surprises: quarterly growth between July-September was 17.1%, which means 0,7% higher than estimated, while in the fourth quarter the economy did not grow (0.0%) despite the fact that initial forecasts pointed to a rise of 0.4%.
Spain domestic demand
The Spanish economy went into technical recession in the second quarter of the year after registering a 17.8% drop in GDP between April and June. This is the biggest quarterly fall in the National Statistics Institute (INE)’s historical series which began in 1970. That said, this decline has been less than was anticipated at end-July. At that point, and in the absence of some data, the INE estimated that GDP would have declined by 18.5% in the second quarter.
As expected, the 4% quarterly contraction in the Spanish economy estimated by the consensus of analysts has been overtaken by reality. GDP registered a historical collapse of 5.2% in the first quarter due to the Covid-19 crisis. Until now, the biggest quarterly fall in GDP was in the first quarter of 2009 (-2.6%).
BBVA Research | At the end of the year, the Spanish economy could register three quarters in a row of 0.4% growth t / t, below the growth observed since the beginning of the recovery (0.7% t / t, on average). In this context there is a stabilization of job creation, a volatile composition of demand and low inflation.
Círculo de Empresarios | The Bank of Spain forecasts that the Spanish economy will embark on a gradual path of deceleration until 2022, and therefore maintains its 2% and 1.7% annual growth forecasts for 2019 and 2020, respectively. GDP growth rests on the back of positive evolution of domestic demand owing to the healthy wealth situation of households and companies, and a monetary policy that is accommodative. In contrast, the external sector loses dynamism as growth in exports is less than imports in an environment rife with global uncertainty.