growth

Catalan President calls for pro-independence supporters to pull together

December 30, 2014 10:59 PM | ACN

“Unity gives us strength as a country”, stated Artur Mas, President of the Catalan Government, in the New Year’s official speech, which is broadcast annually on 30 December. Mas emphasised that “the [Spanish] State wants us to be divided”, because this way “we are weaker and more vulnerable”. The Catalan President makes this statement in the middle of the talks he is carrying out with the opposition left-wing independence party ERC in order to decide whether to run together in early elections that should be transformed into a ‘de facto’ independence referendum. However, the left-wing ERC is reluctant to run with Mas and members of the centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU, which he leads. In his address, Mas also spoke in praise of the symbolic independence vote held on 9 November, which was “an exercise of democracy”, which “should call for dialogue and negotiation, instead of criminal prosecutions”.

Catalonia posted a 1.5% annual GDP growth rate in September

December 19, 2014 08:52 PM | ACN

The Catalan economy grew by 1.5% at the end of the 3rd quarter of 2014 in annual terms, while at the end of June it was growing at a rate of 1.3%. Catalonia has therefore accumulated 4 consecutive quarters with positive annual economic growth. However, although the economic recovery has slowed somewhat, growth remains positive, as other figures show. In quarterly terms, Catalonia’s GDP increased by 0.3% between July and September, which represents a drop from the 0.5% growth registered for April – June and also for January – March. Meanwhile, in Spain as a whole, the economy grew by 1.6% in annual terms at the end of September and by 0.5% in quarterly terms. The European Union is posting the same growth rates as Catalonia: 1.5% in annual terms and 0.3% in quarterly figures.

Private companies to be created within 2 days in Catalonia

December 16, 2014 08:26 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government has issued the Bureaucratic Simplification Law, which should speed up the creation of new private businesses. The new bill should make things easier for 75% of new business initiatives, according to the Catalan Minister for Business and Employment, Felip Puig. He explained that entrepreneurs carrying out innocuous or low-risk activities will be able to create a new company and start working within 48 hours, after having signed a responsibility statement, registered the new company and made sure that their premises respect all the regulations. Therefore, it will be the entrepreneurs' responsibility to make sure that the new business respects the legal framework, setting up "a framework of trust" between the entrepreneurs and the Government, said Puig. Once the business activity launches, public bodies may run inspections to make sure everything is in order.

BBVA forecasts better growth perspectives for Catalonia and 140,000 new jobs in 2014 and 2015

November 20, 2014 11:18 PM | ACN

The Catalan economy’s indicators are posting positive figures and the research department of the BBVA bank has reviewed its growth forecast for Catalonia for the current and the next years. According to the report issued on Thursday by the BBVA, the Catalan economy will grow by 1.3% in 2014 and by 1.8% in 2015, which are higher rates than those initially predicted. On top of this, 140,000 new jobs will be created in those two years, which represents a 4.3% employment growth. In addition, it puts an end to the negative trend that destroyed 17.3% of the existing jobs between 2008 and 2013. The BBVA also praises “the very significant effort” made by the Catalan Government to reduce public deficit in the last few years, although they will not be enough to meet the strict deficit objectives for 2014 and 2015, unilaterally imposed by the Spanish Government.

Catalan economy shows 0.5% growth in the third quarter, accumulating a year and a half of growth

November 6, 2014 09:12 PM | ACN

According to official data released by the Catalan Ministry of Economics and the Statistical Institute of Catalonia (Idescat), the Catalan economy grew by 0.5% between and July and September 2014, the latest in six consecutive quarters of positive economic growth. A signal that the recession is far left behind. The whole of Spain also grew by 0.5% in the same 3 months. In annual terms, Catalonia's GDP has grown by 1.8%, mainly thanks to the boost by the services sector,which has demonstrated an annual growth of 2.4%. The sector of industry grew by 1.5% and those of construction and agriculture decreased by -2.6% and -1% respectively. Idescat’s previous predictions for 2014 quarters has been reviewed: the 0.5% initially estimated for the first quarter increased to 0.7%, while the 0.6% for the second quarter dropped to 0.5%.

Economic growth forecast for Catalonia: 1.6% in 2014 and 2.1% in 2015

October 27, 2014 08:11 PM | ACN

Figures released by the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce on Monday showed that the economy of Catalonia is set to grow by 1.6% in 2014 and 2.1% in 2015. The Chamber also predicted that by 2015, there will be a 2% rise in Spain’s GDP and 1.4% in that of the Eurozone countries average. According to the President of the Chamber, Miquel Valls, the recovery of Catalan and Spanish economies is "solid", but he stressed that the "austerity in wages" must be maintained. This report comes after the success of all Catalan banks passing the stress tests issued by the European Banking Authority and the European Central Bank, which 25 banks across Europe failed. Related economic news is that the unemployment figures released for third quarter of 2014 set Catalonia’s rate at 19.1% and Spain’s at 23.67%.

Catalan economy grows by an annual rate of 1.4% in the second quarter of 2014

September 26, 2014 10:09 PM | ACN

Catalonia’s GDP recorded an annual increase of 1.4% in the second quarter of 2014, the best result since September 2008, according to official figures published on Friday by the Catalan Institute of Statistics (IDESCAT). The 1.8% increase in domestic demand means that the annual rate of Catalonia’s GDP is higher than Spain's average, and more than that of the European Union (EU28), both located at 1.2%. Not only is Government spending showing a favourable trend, but there has also been growth in the services sector, and those of industry and agriculture. From September 2014, the EU has set mandatory implementation of the new European System of Accounts (ESA 2010), which IDESCAT plans to have in place to coincide with the results of the GDP in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Catalan exports growing faster than ever, with the 6.9% in July marking an all-time record

September 18, 2014 09:09 PM | ACN

Last July, Catalonia broke its export record ever achieved in a single month, reaching €5.67 billion. This marked a 6.9% growth from the same month in 2013. Furthermore, Catalan sales abroad reached another record high in the period between January and July of 2014, at €35.44 billion, an increase of 2.6% from last year's same period. Meanwhile, exports have increased throughout the rest of Spain by 1.3% between January and July in their 2013 figures. Nowhere is the export growth faster than in Catalonia, which counts for 25.2% of Spain's total.

The age of ageing: Barcelona’s growing elderly population

August 14, 2014 08:42 PM | Bryony Clarke

Like many major European cities, Barcelona is ageing fast. In the years ahead the city must grapple with many of the problems associated with an increasingly top heavy demographic: as the over-65 population burgeons, health and social services are stretched, the financing of pensions is challenged, and a growing number of frail and vulnerable people face competing over declining resources. Today’s elderly cohort constitutes a greater proportion of Barcelona’s population than ever before, and, perhaps most worryingly, face an increased likelihood of living alone.  But all is not doom and gloom, as the city enjoys an active, dynamic and engaged elderly population, the health and social sector rises to meet the challenges, and the labour market benefits from what are known as the ‘super-grandmothers.’

Catalonia's economic recovery gets stronger as GDP grew by 0.6% between April and June 2014

August 6, 2014 07:14 PM | ACN

The Catalan economy grew by 1.3% from July 2013 to June 2014. However, the economic recovery has particularly sped up and got stronger over the second quarter of 2014, when it grew by 0.6% in quarterly terms, according to data released on Wednesday by the Catalan Statistics Institute (Idescat) and the Catalan Finance Ministry. The GDP growth between April and June was higher than the one registered during the first quarter of the year, set at 0.4%. With the 0.6% registered at the end of June, Catalonia has achieved 5 consecutive quarters of posting positive figures, leaving the recession more than a year behind. Regarding economic sectors, services have led the economic recovery, posting a 1.8% annual growth at the end of the first half of 2014.

Catalan economic recovery accelerates even faster in the second quarter and posts a 1.3% annual growth

August 1, 2014 09:01 PM | ACN

The pace of the Catalan economic recovery is "accelerating" according to Miquel Valls, the President of Barcelona's Chamber of Commerce. This is especially apparent in the second quarter of this year, which saw the interannual GDP grow by 1.3%, compared to the 0.4% growth registered in the first quarter of 2014. This rapid acceleration will oblige the Chamber to review in its autumn report its economic forecasts for Catalonia in 2014 and 2015, which are currently set at 1.2% and 1.5% respectively. Although there is still uncertainty to exactly what shape the new economic climate will take, the new predictions of growth could be above 1.5% for 2014 and 2% in 2015, indicated Valls.

Spanish Government cuts infrastructure investment by 50% in Catalonia and only 25% in the rest of Spain

July 24, 2014 09:33 PM | ACN

According to a report published on Thursday by Barcelona's Chamber of Commerce, the Spanish Government's investment in infrastructure in Catalonia has dropped by 50% in the last 10 years, while it has been reduced by 25% throughout the rest of Spain in the same period. The President of the business association, Miquel Valls, stated that this reduction represents "a break"in the Catalan economy's growth, which could be in a better position to speed up the economic recovery. The report takes into account the executed investment made by the Spanish Government and its public companies in areas such as airports, high-speed railway or harbours. In 2006, the Spanish Parliament recognised "a historical" lack of investment in Catalonia when it approved the Catalan Statute of Autonomy and set a minimum investment percentage share to be made in Catalonia to compensate this in the next 7 years. This share was never respected.

Catalonia’s GDP grows 0.4% between January and March, accumulating 4 positive quarters

May 12, 2014 09:55 PM | ACN

The Catalan economy grew by 0.4% in the first quarter of 2014, which means that GDP has been increasing for the last 4 consecutive quarters, leaving recession far behind, according to an early estimate published on Monday by Catalonia’s Statistics Institute (Idescat) and the Catalan Ministry of the Economy and Knowledge. Furthermore, between March 2013 and March 2014, Catalonia’s economy grew by 0.8%. In the second quarter of 2013 it registered a quarterly growth of 0.1%; in the third it also posted a 0.1% quarterly growth; between October and December, it increased by 0,2%; and now, between January and March, it grew by 0.4%. The services sector has been the main engine behind this positive trend; in the last 12 months it grew by 1.4%.

New Barcelona Growth Centre to boost company and job creation

March 6, 2014 09:16 PM | ACN

The MediaTic building in the 22@ Innovation District of the Catalan capital will now be known as the Barcelona Growth Centre, also becoming a meeting place for entrepreneurs and businesses. Such an announcement was made by Mayor Xavier Trias to the fifty attendees of the Barcelona Growth Board meeting, which took place at the City Council on Thursday. Currently, the 8-floor building hosts initiatives such as the Mobile World Capital Foundation, the Agency for Barcelona Brand, the Open University of Catalonia and the Barcelona Mobile Startup, among others. To convert the building into a platform for businesses, the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce will set up an office of assistance to entrepreneurs on the ground floor, which will act as a “facilitator” to create new companies.

Barcelona Chamber of Commerce President: Catalonia’s economy works better than Spain’s

February 13, 2014 08:01 PM | ACN

The President of Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Miquel Valls, stated on Thursday that the independence process was not affecting Catalonia’s economic recovery. During a press conference, Valls emphasised that such a statement was based on concrete “facts”. He stressed that Catalonia had tripled the amount of incoming foreign investment compared to the Spanish average, and that the Catalan economy had also registered better figures in enterprise creation and business confidence, employment and other indicators showing an economic recovery According to the report on conjecture and economic perspectives, the Catalan GDP grew by 0.7% during the fourth quarter of 2013, whereas the Spanish GDP dropped by 0.1%. Valls also recalled that the consultation vote on the political future of Catalonia would involve “citizens and not businesses”, thus responding to the employers who recently voiced their opposition to Catalonia’s independence.