Catalonia’s GDP grew by 0.1% during second quarter of 2013 according to Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce
Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce has presented the results of the economic situation of Catalonia during the second quarter of the year. It is estimated that GDP rose by 0.1% on the second quarter, following 18 months of negative growth. President of the Chamber, Miquel Valls, attributes this increase to a new economic model based upon high levels of tourism and exportation, which has boosted activity in the industrial sector. Regarding outlook for the third quarter, the Chamber expects this growth to continue which will improve the business climate within Catalonia.
Barcelona (ACN).- This Wednesday, Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce released their analysis of the economic situation in Catalonia during the second quarter of 2013 and their forecasts for the third quarter. Their conclusion is that there was a GDP growth of 0.1% during the second quarter, which is the first time GDP has risen in 6 consecutive quarters or 18 months. President of the Chamber, Miquel Valls, pointed out that this slight increase means that Catalonia’s GDP have shrunk by -1.3% over the last 12 months. Valls predicted that during the whole of 2013 the Catalan economy will contract by -1.2%. According to Valls, this increase has been possible due to a new economic model in Catalonia, which involves high levels of exportation to foreign countries, which has enabled the industrial sector to grow for the first time in the last two years. In addition, the other main pillar of the new economic model is a strong tourist sector. Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce estimated that this slight growth will continue into the third quarter of the year and improve the business climate in Catalonia. The predictions have been made together with the Catalan Statistics Institute (Idescat) and come from the Catalan Business Climate survey with data from 3,653 companies.
The new economic model: exports and tourism
Valls stated how Catalonia benefited from exporting products to fast growing foreign markets. Exports increased by 20% to Africa, 15.5% to Latina America, and 6.9% to Asia. Exports have been particularly significant in the chemical and car industries. The report also reveals that all economic sectors have experienced an improvement during the second quarter, especially tourism and the industry sectors. The construction and commerce industries have also improved despite still being in an unfavourable situation.
The Chamber has specified how the tourism sector has benefited from a profitable Easter and early summer period. The majority of employers within the sector have received an increase in turnover. 53% of the tourist employers have received a rise in sales, while 21% of them noted a reduction. Foreign tourism is said to have driven this growth. The industry sector has also improved during the second quarter of 2013 registering a positive balance in its global turnover; this has not been achieved for two years. This improvement has come from the exporting product abroad.
Third quarter predictions
The Chamber of Commerce predicts that the second half of the year will experience a growth in GDP but higher than the growth recorded in the second quarter. “We hope that the results of the third quarter mean that we can come out of recession”, stated Valls. However, the Chamber President does warn that these predictions may not be realised if Catalonia continues its policy of raising tax rates. He reminded that Catalonia is one of the Autonomous Communities that has the highest tax rate.