Spanish economy grows 1.5% in second quarter and 6.8% year on year
Rates around half a percentage point higher than first estimations
Rates around half a percentage point higher than first estimations
Average number of children per woman is lowest on record since 2001
Estimation would mean continuing trend of GDP increase, higher than Spanish and EU average
Government adjusts forecast upward with economy expected to outgrow average in Spain and Eurozone
Figures for July to September show industry and housing led the way with substantial increases in activity compared with last year
The Catalan economy is getting stronger, according to the latest growth figures published on Thursday by the Catalan Ministry of Economy and the Office of Statistics (IDESCAT). Catalan GDP grew 0.7% between January and March, a 0.2% increase in comparison with the two previous quarters. The labor market is also improving, with April figures showing the largest decrease in unemployment in that month in 21 years. With 425,751 people without jobs, Catalonia is reaching the pre-crisis levels of unemployment. The official data shows that unemployment fell by 4.54% between March and April 2017, and by 12% year-on-year.
The Catalan Ministry for Economy and Tax Office presented this Wednesday the data of the macroeconomic chart to be included in the budget for 2017, which the Catalan executive expects to pass next week. According to this document, the Catalan economy’s expected growth will be 3.4%, 0.5% more than the growth forecast for the Spanish economy, which is expected to be 2.9%. Regarding 2017, the chart keeps the figure released last May which foresaw 2.7% growth. According to the Catalan Vice-president and Minister for Economy and Tax Office, Oriol Junqueras, this figure is “considerably higher” than the expected growth for the Eurozone (1.5%). The budget for 2017 also foresees the creation of 160,000 jobs between 2016 and 2017.
In annual terms, the Catalan economy grew by 3.3% in the third quarter of 2016 according to official data released this week by the Catalan Ministry for Economy and Tax Office and the Statistical Institute of Catalonia (Idescat). This increase is mainly thanks to the boost provided by the services sector, which saw annual growth of 3%, and the acceleration of the industrial sector, whose growth stood at 4.9%, the highest for the last six years. The quarterly growth rate, however, stood at 0.7%, one tenth lower rise than the previous quarter, but four percentage points above the Eurozone average. According to the data, there is a slight slowdown in the expansion of the Catalan economy, as annual growth in the first and second quarter of this year were 3.7% and 3.5%, respectively.
12.7% more passengers used Barcelona El Prat Airport’s facilities during the first half of 2016 than in the same period last year. According to data released by the Airports Council International (ACI) and adding the figures corresponding to July, 25,028,393 people used El Prat’s facilities in the first seven months of the year. Thus, Barcelona’s airport has the second-largest passenger growth in group 1, which includes those airports with more than 25 million passengers per year, only behind that of Dublin, which registered 13.4% growth. However, in June, El Prat was the European airport which saw the highest increase in the number of passengers (10%) and its pace of growth was double that of the European airport average. According to ACI these good results are mainly due to the high amount of low-cost flights operated to and from El Prat, which was double the amount operated from Madrid. Moreover, the number of movements from January to July reached 117,326, which represents 6.5% more than in the same period last year.
Neither ‘Brexit’ nor the lack of a government in Spain seem to have affected the progress of the Catalan economy, which registered 3.5% growth at the end of the second quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year. According to figures released this Thursday by the Catalan Finance Ministry and the Catalan Statistics Institute (Idescat), the pace of growth in the second quarter was 0.8% in terms of GDP, the same figure registered in the previous quarter. Regarding the economic sectors, industry registered the highest growth, even higher than the Eurozone average. Considering these figures, the forecasts for the whole of 2016 made by the Catalan Department for Economy may have to be revised upwards, since in May the body estimated a 2.9% growth for the whole year.
20.4% more passengers used Barcelona El Prat Airport’s facilities this past February than in the same month last year. According to data released by the European airport trade association (ACI Europe), Barcelona’s airport leads the ranking of EU airports in terms of growth and tops group 1, which includes those airports with more than 25 million passengers per year. Dublin holds second position, with a registered growth of 17.2% in February, followed by Copenhagen (+16%) and Madrid Barajas (+15.5%). Regarding those European airports which are not within the EU, Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen is the only airport whose increase in the number of passengers surpassed that of Barcelona (24.3%). The increase in the number of passengers using El Prat is double the average growth registered for February in the EU overall, which was 10.3%.
Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce estimates that the Catalan economy grew by 3.2% in 2015, which is more than double the figure for 2014 and marks a return to pre-crisis levels, when the GDP increased by 1.5%. To “keep on advancing on the path of economic recovery” and to respond to Catalonia’s push for independence and “guarantee the territorial stability”, the president of Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce, Miquel Valls, called for “the widest consensus possible” amongst the main parties with representation in the Spanish Parliament. He also emphasised the “fundamental” need to keep the relationship and the compromises established with the EU, as the 40-billion-euros rescue package for the banks in Spain led to the recovery of the risk premium and brought back the trust in the Spanish market.
Catalan exports were worth more than 15,500 million euros in the third quarter, representing a record 5% increase over the same period last year. From January to September, the amount of sales abroad by Catalan companies was worth 47,567 million euros, 6.29% more than in the same period last year. The leading sector in terms of exports during the first nine months of the year was the chemical sector, which was worth 12,662 million euros and increased by 6.1% compared to the same period last year. Capital goods came second in the ranking, totalling 8,015 million euros. However, the sector which grew the most was the automobile industry, increasing by 16% in comparison to the first nine months of 2014. In Spain as a whole, exports grew by 4.4% from January to September and also set a historic figure.