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%).
The leading research departments have begun to make upward revisions to their forecasts for the Spanish economy in 2017 and 2018. The GDP figures confirm that our economy did not lose momentum in the final part of 2016 (in the end GDP grew 3.2% for the year as a whole). And the indicators on activity and confidence at the start of 2017 show a slight acceleration. The good performance from the labour market, and Spain’s competitive exports, will be key growth drivers.
Spain’s GDP growth rate in the first half of this year has been solid. In the second quarter, GDP expanded 0.7% quarter-on-quarter nearly in line with the 0.8% rise in the first quarter, translating into a 3.2% year-on-year increase. So overall, the balance for the first half of 2016 has been favourable. And the strong performance over this period means that it is very likely GDP growth will be close to 3% for the full-year. But there are downward risks for 2017.
The most obvious falsehood in Spain’s Q4 GDP figure is the data related to Survey of the Active Population. According to Roberto Centeno,”job creation in the private sector slumped to 31,200 people from the 182,000 recorded in the previous quarter, with supposedly similar GDP growth. If we make a comparison with Q4 2014 to eliminate the seasonality effect, 63,100 new private sector jobs were created with GDP growth of 0.7%.”
MADRID | The Corner | The Spanish government sent its Stability Program update to the European Commission on Wednesday, along with its National Plan of Reforms, as the country officially confirmed the 0.4% GDP growth in 1Q14 that the Bank of Spain already published last week.
MADRID | By Julia Pastor | Spain grows slowly but at a firm pace. Bank of Spain estimates that the country’s GDP increased by 0.4% in the first three months of present year against previous quarter when it rose 0.2%. This also means that year-on- year rate climbs by 0.5% reaching positive territory for the first time after nine consecutive quarters falling. After a painful recession, the government was euphoric to announce the biggest leap forward in six years.