Recovery of Catalan economy is ahead of that of Spain, employer association report finds

July 15, 2014 08:43 PM | ACN

''The recovery has come and has come to stay,'' according to Salvador Guillermo, Director of the Economy of Catalonia's main association of business-owners, Foment del Treball. Guillermo, who coordinated the report published on Tuesday, said that the analysis of economic data confirms that the positive trends have been occurring a month earlier in Catalonia than in the rest of Spain, "which means that recovery is more entrenched'' in Catalonia. The agents of this recovery are internal demand (consumption and investment) and the fast pace of exports in Catalonia.

Lleida’s Scientific Park, the “agricultural innovation hub of Catalonia”, celebrates its 9th anniversary

July 8, 2014 05:35 PM | ACN

The Agricultural Science and Technology Park of Lleida (PCiTAL) celebrated its 9th anniversary on Monday, and did so "reaffirming its commitment to the economic future of Lleida", according to the Mayor Àngel Ros. The park hosts some 111 organisations, comprising of 89 companies, 14 research and development centres and 8 research groups. This constitutes five times the number of businesses that were based in the park just five years ago, representing a 540% growth. Significantly, there are more than 1,400 people employed in the park´s facilities, many of them young people. The turnover of the Agricultural Science and Technology Park of Lleida has reached €102.5 million, with an annual growth of 30%.

Catalonia aims to generate up to 25% of its PIB through the industrial sector by 2020

July 5, 2014 12:27 AM | ACN

The Catalan Government has presented a new strategy to boost important industries such as chemical, energy and resources, design, sustainable mobility or healthcare. Those sectors will have, by September, a team of experts that will include members of Government and the most important companies, and will prepare strategic plans to help them develop further. The Catalan President, Artur Mas, said on Friday that Catalonia needs its industries, and urged businesspeople to work together with him in order to improve the state of the economy.

Unemployment down by 22,090 people in one month, as June records the largest annual fall in 16 years

July 2, 2014 06:37 PM | ACN

At the end of June 2014, the unemployment lists in Catalonia registered 570,214 people, 22,090 fewer than in May, and 47,074 fewer than in June of last year, according to the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security. These figures represent a decrease of 3.73% in the number of unemployed between May and June, and even more significantly, a decrease of 7.63% between June 2013 and June 2014. This reduction of 47,074 persons in annual terms constitutes the greatest fall in unemployment registered in Catalonia since 1998, 16 years ago. Catalonia has experienced the largest decreases in the numbers of people unemployed of any autonomous community in Spain.

Entrepreneurs fair BizBarcelona 2014 gets underway

June 4, 2014 09:11 PM | Anders Ballegaard

Throughout this week the Fira de Barcelona's Montjuic exhibition venue in the Catalan capital is transformed into a business fair for start-ups and entrepreneurs. The BizBarcelona event takes place on Wednesday the 4th and Thursday the 5th of June and is the second edition of this innovative business fair. The event serves several purposes and contains as many as six different areas including e-commerce, the financial markets, exports, franchises, business consulting as well as cooperation and networking. The event offers various opportunities for established and future entrepreneurs. BizBarcelona is a welcome initiative. First quarter financial reports revealed a decrease in bankruptcy proceedings, and with a high unemployment rate in Catalonia and Spain it is hoped that these new companies can create jobs.

Catalonia registered the lowest unemployment levels since August 2011, with an 8 % annual drop

June 3, 2014 08:54 PM | ACN

Registered unemployment in Catalonia has dropped to 592,304 people at the end of May 2014: the first time the figure has fallen below the 600,000 mark since August 2011. According to figures released by the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security, between May 2013 and May 2014, registered unemployment dropped by 7.76 %, a reduction of 49,862 people. In only one month, unemployment decreased by 19,518 people from April to May, a 3.19 % drop. This has been the greatest monthly decrease recorded in May for 18 years. Furthermore, Catalonia has also experienced the greatest fall in unemployment of any Autonomous Community in Spain this last May, followed by the Region of Madrid.

Registered unemployment in Catalonia dropped by 7% in April compared to the previous year

May 6, 2014 02:03 PM | ACN

In April, 12,645 jobseekers left the Catalan Public Employment Service's lists, which is the sharpest unemployment reduction for an April month since 1998. At the end of April there were 611,822 people registered as unemployed in Catalonia, a 2% drop on March figures and a 6.88% reduction compared to April 2013. This 6.88% annual drop is also the sharpest since June 2000. Furthermore, in annual terms, registered unemployment has been decreasing in Catalonia for the last 10 consecutive months, although April is traditionally a good month for employment due to the new contracts linked to Easter holidays. In the whole of Spain, registered unemployment decreased by 111,565, representing a 2.33% drop and leaving the total number of registered jobseekers at 4,684,301. In annual terms, it dropped by 6.11%, being the 7th consecutive month with annual reductions.

Unemployment rate in Catalonia increases from 21.9% to 22.1% in the first quarter of 2014

April 29, 2014 10:47 PM | ACN

At the end of March there were 840,200 unemployed people in Catalonia, 600 more than in December. This quarterly increase breaks the trend of 3 consecutive quarters with unemployment drops in Catalonia and puts the unemployment rate at 22.10%. However, in annual terms, Catalan unemployment was reduced by 108,800 on March 2013 figures, when the rate reached 24.45%. Unemployment has not decreased in annual terms in the first quarter of the year since 2007. The most negative news is the number of jobs lost between January and March 2014. In the first quarter of the year, 38,100 jobs were lost in Catalonia, 10,000 more than in the same period of 2013. In the whole of Spain, 184,600 jobs were lost between January and March 2014 and the unemployment rate reached 25.93%.


Catalonia's registered unemployment dropped by 6% in March, the sharpest annual drop since 2000

April 2, 2014 09:21 PM | ACN

At the end of March 2014 there were 39,583 fewer jobseekers in Catalonia than twelve month earlier, which represents a 5.96% drop. It is the sharpest drop since June 2000. In addition, registered unemployment in Catalonia has been decreasing in annual terms for the last 9 consecutive months. On top of this, it is the third consecutive unemployment decline registered in a month of March. After this drop, the total number of people registered as unemployed at the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) was 624,467 people. In monthly terms, there were 5,119 fewer jobseekers at the end of March than in February. The fall in monthly terms is the sharpest registered in this month of the year since March 2005, before the economic crisis.

Catalonia, number 1 in foreign investment and job creation

March 27, 2014 10:46 PM | ACN

The Catalan economy is more open than ever and attracts record levels of foreign investment, according to new data published on Thursday by the Catalan Minister for Business and Jobs, Felip Puig. The minister celebrated the fact that for the second year in a row, the prestigious ‘Financial Times’ newspaper ranked Catalonia first region in continental Europe in foreign investment and job creation. Catalonia attracted up to 91 new business projects with an estimated investment of almost 3,000 million dollars (around 2,257 million euros) and the creation of 7,427 jobs. Gross foreign investment figures from the Spanish government put the figure at 3,500 million euros. Exports in 2013 were at record levels, and generated 58,359 million euros. There are now more than 49,000 companies selling abroad in Catalonia, a 6.8% increase in comparison to 2012.

More than 1,400 SMEs shout "enough" to the Spanish and Catalan fiscal measures "discriminating" against them

March 20, 2014 04:14 PM | ACN

On Wednesday evening the main Catalan small- and medium-sized enterprises association, Pimec, organised a protest conference in which they accused the Spanish and Catalan Governments of politically and financially "discriminating" against them. With the slogan #diguemprou (#wesayenough) 1,400 owners of SMEs and self-employed workers protested against both Governments for not taking SMEs into account and only working for the interests of large corporations. The protest was explicitly backed by 220 guilds and associations, as well as by 9 professional associations and that of self-employed workers. The event issued a manifesto compiling a list of grievances, split into 7 different areas: entrepreneurship; loans and funding; taxation; labour market; energy; training and employment; and internationalisation.

Seat and Nissan hire new temporary workforce in Barcelona to cope with increased demand

March 10, 2014 08:15 PM | ACN / Ben Ramage

Greater Barcelona-based car manufacturer Seat has hired 450 new workers to cover an expected increase in production. The new employees will join the workforce at the Martorell factory to aid the production of two of its most popular car models, the Ibiza and the Leon. Seat also announced an increase in overall production during a strong performance in 2013, which saw its highest production rates for 5 years. Besides, the Japanese Nissan recently extended the contract to 308 temporary workers and hired additional 20 people in its Barcelona factory. Last November, Nissan launched a shorter night shift to produce the Primastar X83 van, which was extended in February in order to increase production.

Employer’s association: new jobs and higher consumption not foreseen before late 2014

March 6, 2014 09:14 PM | ACN

The largest employer’s association in Catalonia, Foment del Treball, expects that the economic recovery in both Catalonia and the whole of Spain will not lead to a growth in employment and consumption until late 2014 or early 2015, as explained in the Report on the Economic Situation published on Thursday. The Director of Foment’s Economics and Taxation Department, Salvador Guillermo, said in a press conference that the economic recovery is being “consolidated”. Nevertheless, he added that ongoing structural reforms in the energy sector, public administration or the financial system should continue. According to Guillermo, the reduction of public deficit must be slowed down in order to avoid any negative impact on the economic recovery. 

Unemployment falls by 4,300 people in Catalonia and by 2,000 in the whole of Spain

March 4, 2014 08:44 PM | ACN

In February, 629,586 people were enrolled on the unemployment lists in Catalonia, representing a decrease of 4,285 unemployed people on the same month last year, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Spanish Employment and Social Security Ministry. It is also the sharpest decline for a month of February since 2004, when 5,138 fewer jobseekers were registered. With this latest drop in the unemployment figures, Catalonia has achieved eight consecutive months of registered unemployment reduction in annual terms. In the whole of Spain, unemployment stood at 4,812,486 people, down by 1,949 people in February. It is the first decrease for the month of February since the beginning of the crisis in 2007.

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.