Exportations drive Catalan industrial sector recovery

Catalan manufacturers have improved their activity during the first quarter of 2010, a positive trend that depends on the evolution of the debt crisis, says the Secretary for Industry and Business.

CNA / Laura Pous

June 19, 2010 12:59 AM

Barcelona (CNA).- The economical crisis heavily affected Catalan industries in 2009, but the sector has experienced a recovery during the first months of this year. A report by the Catalan Industry and Business Ministry shows a positive trend towards recovery that has been especially boosted by exportations. Between January and March, Catalan exports rose by a figure of 17%. Similarly, the Industrial Production Index (IDI) increased by 8.2% in comparison with last year.
The Secretary for Industry and Business, Antoni Soy, said that the stimulus plans promoted by the Catalan Government have positively affected the industry. However, Soy argued that the trend towards recovery will only be matched if the credibility of Spain and Catalonia is not damaged by the debt crisis.

The austerity plans and cuts planned by all European Governments are necessary to solve the debt crisis, said Soy. However, to promote an improvement in an “open economy” such as the Catalan one it is very important to promote growth, but European countries, and especially Germany, “do not seem interested in doing that”. Soy said that Europe and Catalonia risk entering into a “downward spiral” if austerity measures are not coupled with policies to boost the recovery.

The Catalan Secretary outlined the importance of labour reform in Catalonia. Low productivity is the largest problem of the economy, said Soy, who referred to Germany as a country with high labour costs and high productivity. “Our problem is that our costs are not worthy for our productivity”, he said.