The Spanish economy started the year worse than had been estimated until now. GDP grew 0.2% between January and Marcha figure that shows stagnation in a context of inflation, as confirmed this Friday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
In its preview of these data, last April, the INE had predicted an increase in GDP of 0.3%. It was already a weak datum marked by the Carriers’ strike, the start of the Ukrainian war and the impact that the wave of Covid-19 omicron had in those months. Now, the INE revises these data downwards and shows a year-on-year variation in GDP of 6.3%.
The domestic consumption was weaker than what had been estimated when these data were released due to the lower performance of the public sector. Specifically, the expenditure of the Public Administrations was 0.1%, compared to the 1.3% that had been calculated before. Meanwhile, household spending was negative -2%, but less than estimated in the provisional data for April (when it was estimated at -3.7%) and that of companies was higher than expected in the advance ( +2%, compared to 1.2% of what was calculated).
In any case, the data show a slowdown in domestic consumption that had been activated at the end of 2021 but at the start of 2022 it stopped, weighing down the recovery of the economy.
Thus, the national demand contributed 0.4 points to year-on-year GDP growth (two tenths more than in the previous quarter) and foreign demand contributed 2.3 points (five tenths more than three months earlier).
In any case, this official growth data shows that for Spain it will be difficult to even meet the lowered GDP forecasts in recent months. The Government calculates that the economy will grow by 4.3%, far from the 7% that it had promised in the General State Budgets (PGE).
Regarding employment data, the INE shows a 3.2% increase in the number of hours actually worked. But full-time equivalent jobs increased 0.5% from the last quarter of 2021.
In year-on-year terms, employment grew by 5.3%, which is five tenths less than three months earlier and indicates a slowdown in job creation.
The productivity continues to show worrying data with a negative figure of -1.1% per hour actually worked. Meanwhile, productivity per full-time equivalent job stood at 1%.
The reviews that the INE has been making of its growth statistics since the start of the pandemic have been controversial and have generated discomfort in the Government. In the note in which it disseminates the data for this Friday, the agency explains that the published results incorporate all the information available since April 29, 2021, when it published its Advance of the National Accounts, estimating one tenth more growth than confirmed. now.