Catalan SMEs grow in number and production in 2017
Pimec and the Catalan government say that the figures go against the warnings of the effects of the independence push on the economy
Catalan small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) grew by 1.1% in number in 2017 to 519,109 companies, an increase equivalent to 5,789 new businesses compared to 2016.
In addition, the number of people employed by small-medium companies increased by 3% to 1,886,581 and its gross added value amounted to 4.3% to over €121 billion, according to the latest statistics published by Pimec, the organization that represents Catalan SMEs.
Small-medium sized companies represent 59.6% of the value of Catalan production, which is a growth of 0.6% compared with 2016.
The number of people employed increased most in construction (7%), followed by the primary sector including fishing, farming, and forestry, (3.8%), the services sector (2.8%) and industry (1.8%).
The president of Pimec, Josep González, says the figures show "it was a good year" in 2017, despite the "lamentable things" that were said. Along the same lines, Joaquim Ferrer, an official in the business department of the government, highlighted the increases came "in spite of everything that was said."
With the independence push coming in late 2017, some warned of collapses in the economy due to companies leaving Catalonia and foreign investment drying up.
Gonzalez insisted that during and after the political events of the autumn of 2017, it had been a good year for the SMEs and the president added that the data corroborates with this. "We said we were doing well," he stressed, while claiming that when talking about figures, we talk about figures and don’t mix with politics. In a similar vein, he said that for the information they have in 2018, "it will be a good year".
Ferrer also pointed out that "If the SMEs are going well, the country is going well," in relation to the increased employment in Catalonia during the turbulent political times of 2017.