Catalan economy contraction slows down and drops by 0.3% in the first quarter of 2013
Catalonia’s GDP decreased by 0.3% between January and March 2013, while the Spanish economy dropped by 0.7% in the same period. The Catalan figure represents a more gentle drop compared to the last quarter of 2012, when the Catalan economy plummeted by 0.7%. However, looking at the annual figures, results from March 2013 represent a 1.9% drop compared to March 2012. Exports and tourism are the main economic engines. However, the improvement is also due to the fact that domestic consumption continued to post negative figures but they were still better than in the previous months. The data are early estimations calculated by the Catalan Statistics Institute (Ideascat) and the Catalan Economy Ministry, released on Friday.
Barcelona (ACN).- Catalonia\u2019s GDP still decreased in the first quarter of 2013 but at a more gentle pace than it did by the end of 2012, according to early estimations released on Friday by the Catalan Statistics Institute (Idescat) and the Catalan Ministry for the Economy and Knowledge. Between January and March, the Catalan economy decreased by 0.3%, while in the fourth quarter of 2012 it dropped by 0.7%. The improvement of the economic figures from one term to another is mostly due to the increase in foreign demand, meaning higher export levels and a greater volume of international tourists. In addition, the more positive behaviour of domestic consumption, which was not as low as between October and December, also contributed to slow the economic contraction. Meanwhile, the Spanish economy dropped by 0.7% in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the previous quarter. Considering the annual figures, Catalonia\u2019s GDP plummeted by 1.9% by the end of March 2013 compared to data from March 2012.
Goods exportation has continued to be one of the main engines driving Catalonia\u2019s economy during the first quarter of 2013. Until February 2013, goods exportation had increased by 1.4% in annual terms. However, imports continued their negative trend and in the same period decreased by 3.1%. Tourist demand also contributed to the improvement in foreign demand. The number of international tourists increased by 7.6% and their spending volume grew by 14.2%.
Regarding the industrial sector, gross added value in the first quarter of 2013 dropped by 0.8% compared to data from a year ago. The construction sector continues the reduction in its volume within the Catalan economy. At the end of March, the construction sector plummeted by 7% compared to a year ago. The service sector dropped by 1.5% at the end of the first quarter of 2013 in annual terms. These negative results are very much linked to the reduction in retail activities and the drop in demand in the public sector.