The Catalan economy improves but still continues contracting over the third quarter

The Catalan economy contracted by 0.3% between July and September, although its results improved slightly compared to the previous quarter, when it shrunk by 0.5%. The tourism sector continues to grow and internal consumption continues to drop. Compared to a year ago, by the end of September, Catalan GDP has fallen by 1.4%.


November 8, 2012 11:15 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan economy contracted by 0.3% over the third quarter of 2012, according to the advanced GDP released on Thursday by the Catalan Finance Ministry. Despite the negative numbers it represents a slight improvement compared to the second quarter of the year, when it fell by 0.5%. According to the Ministry’s note, “private consumption slowed down its fall between July and August”, which resulted in curbing the recession. Compared to a year ago, by the end of September, Catalan GDP had fallen by 1.4%. Exports and foreign tourism are the sectors growing most, but their weight within the Catalan economy is not enough to end the third quarter with total positive numbers, especially due to the drop in internal consumption.

Tourism keeps growing, mainly because of the very positive figures of foreign visitors, which have been increasing in number over the last two years. In fact, the number of foreign tourists visiting Catalonia increased by 11.6% over the last year. Furthermore, they have spent 14.3% more money than a year ago.

The positive results brought by the export sector could not balance the severe drop in internal consumption, which has resulted in a 2.7% fall of the gross industrial added value over the third quarter of 2012. This figure is “in line with the trend of the entire Eurozone, when last August industrial production fell by 2.9% in annual terms”, stated the note from the Finance Ministry.

The construction sector continues with the negative trend that started in the second half of 2008. It has plummeted by 6.4% in the last 12 months, “because of the the reduction of housing construction and the volume of public works”. Finally, the service sector, which is by far the most important one in Catalonia, decreased by 0.6% in annual terms due to the drop in internal demand.