Catalan GDP grows by 3% from last year
Economy remains strong despite slight decline from previous higher figures
Economy remains strong despite slight decline from previous higher figures
Export sales reach just over 6 billion euros, an increase of 5.68% compared to same month last year
Catalan president and sector representatives agree upon a €1.8 billion stimulus plan
The Catalan GDP increased by 0.9% between April and June this year, which is a positive figure but slightly lower than the 1.1% rate registered during the first quarter. However, in annual terms, the Catalan economy grew by 3% in the year to June, which is more than the 2.6% annual growth registered in March. Such a high level of annual growth had not been registered since September 2007, before the financial crisis started. According to the Catalan Finance Ministry, the minor fall off in growth registered between April and June compared to the growth rate from January to March is due to the "extraordinary" 1.1% growth rate of the first quarter. The Ministry stressed that 0.9% growth is still a very positive rate and does not break the trend of the economic recovery, on the contrary proving its strength.
The Catalan Government was one of 14 regional executives to sign the 'Under 2 Memorandum of Understanding' in May 2015 as part of a pact to reduce CO2 emissions by 80-95% by 2050 among the signing territories. This goal is an effort to mitigate the worst effects of climate change coming from greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, the Catalan Government has been working toward improving energy efficiency and developing a greater supply of renewable energy through various initiatives and action plans. However, the biggest changes necessary for Catalonia to adopt the renewable, low-emissions energy model it desires cannot be implemented by the Catalan Government, but would have to come from the Spanish Government instead. Overall, the biggest challenge facing the adoption of renewable energy is being able to produce it at prices competitive with conventional sources of power.
Catalonia's GDP has increased by 1.1% during the first quarter of the year compared to the last quarter of 2014, while the Spanish economy grew by 0.9% and that of the European Union by 0.5%, according to definitive figures released by the Catalan Statistics Instituted (Idescat) on Friday. In annual terms, Catalonia's economy increased by 2.6% from March 2014 to March 2015, mostly due to the positive evolution of domestic demand and the strength of the export sector. The figures released this Friday improve upon the provisional data that had been announced in May for the first term of 2015, when it was stated that Catalonia’s economy had grown by 0.9% from January to March. With the 1.1% growth finally registered, Catalonia now accumulates 8 consecutive terms of quarterly growth.
The price competitiveness index for Catalan industry in relation to other industrialised countries improved by 0.4 points in the last quarter of 2014 compared to the same period of 2013, according to figures released on Monday by the Statistical Institute of Catalonia (IDESCAT). This improvement is particularly noticeable when compared against newly industrialised Asian countries, over which Catalan industry held a 2.7 percent advantage in competitiveness. A recent decline in the Euro's value has aided in facilitating the attractiveness of Catalonia's industrial products in the market. The favourable exchange rate has helped offset the loss of competitiveness of industrial prices compared to other industrialised countries.
Catalan exports totalled €15.66 billion for the period January-March 2015, a 6.6% growth on figures from the 1st quarter of 2014. This represents a new historic high, setting a new record for Catalonia’s export sector, which has been growing strongly over the last few years. As well as this, exports in March increased by 15.4%, reaching the highest amount ever recorded for a single month. Exports from Catalonia during the first quarter of 2015 represent 25.7% of Spain’s total exports. Regarding Catalonia’s imports, they totalled €18.48 billion, a 4.4% increase. Catalonia’s trade deficit reached €2.82 billion, representing a 6.3% drop on figures from the previous quarter.
On Tuesday, ahead of the United Nations conference on Climate Change to be held in Paris this autumn, Catalonia signed a 'Memorandum of Understanding' in Sacramento (California), together with 11 other US states, Mexican states, Canadian provinces and regional governments. By taking this step, the Catalan Government and the other signatories commit to cut total greenhouse emissions to 80%-95% below 1990 levels by 2050 or to cut per capita emissions to below 2 metric tons during the same timeframe. The 12 founding signatories to the agreement span seven countries and three continents, with a total population of 100 million people and about $4.5 trillion in combined GDP. Apart from Catalonia, the signatories include: California, Vermont, Oregon and Washington (USA); Acre (Brazil); Baden-Württemberg (Germany); Baja California and Jalisco (Mexico); Ontario and British Columbia (Canada); and Wales (UK). More states, nations and cities are expected to join the agreement in the coming months.
The German multinational company Basf announced on Tuesday it will invest €21 million to expand one of the plants it has in the area of Tarragona, in Southern Catalonia. Basf operates several plants in the Tarragona area, which is Spain's main centre for the petro-chemical industry and one of the most important ones at European level. The investment announced this Tuesday is the largest made by the Spanish division of the German multinational in a single plant in many years, confirmed the company. The centre producing the innovative liquid fungicides for sustainable agriculture will extend its facilities and increase production capacity of these fungicides for high performance crops. Once the work is completed, the company will add 30 workers to its staff. Basf expects the expansion work to end and the new production line to be fully operational by the end of next year.
The 38th edition of the Barcelona International Motor Show (SIAB) will be held between 9 and 17 May at the Montjuïc venue of the Catalan capital's trade fair. This year, the event will host at least 38 brands and others could be added in the following weeks. This is the biggest number since the economic crisis started. According to Mario Armero, ANFAC Executive Vice President, "the show coincides with a clear recovery of the sector, where 2-digit growth rates have been registered in sales, production and exports volumes". Organised by Fira de Barcelona, SIAB is the only motor show in Spain recognised by the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers. The coming edition will also coincide with the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix, transforming the Catalan city into the world's motor capital for a few days.
The GDP of Catalonia increased by 1.5% during 2014, according to the definitive figures released by the Catalan Statistics Institute (Idescat) on Friday. However, on the same day, the Spanish Statistics Institute (INE) published its economic growth figures for 2014 and announced that the Catalan economy had grown by 1.4% last year, the same rate as Spain. In any case, both figures are quite positive after many years of economic crisis and slowdown. In fact, 2014 has been the best year since 2007, when the Catalan economy grew by 3.2% according to the Idescat. The final figure for 2014 is higher than the provisional 1.2% growth rate previously announced. Following European Union instructions, the calculations for last year include R&D activities, as well as prostitution and trafficking of drugs and tobacco.
The Swiss multinational will build a new factory for Nescafé in Girona, where it has already an important plant that exports its products to more than 70 countries. Nestlé will invest €102 million in the project and the new facilities should be operational by the end of 2017, explained the company's Director General for Spain, Laurent Dereux. It will become the most important plant in Europe and its third-biggest in the world in terms of soluble coffee production capacity. The new factory will be built next to the existing plant and will add 10,000 additional square metres to the compound, increasing its production capacity by 30%. It will replace the plant’s oldest production chain, which will not be dismantled as it could be useful in the medium term. The expansion will bring some 40 new jobs to the Catalan plant.