The new European funds come as a clear opportunity in order to boost the recovery. Despite the fact that the timeline for its implementation continues to expand, so its effective reception will be delayed until well entered the second half of 2021, certain recent advances taken place both in Brussels and at the national level stand out. Several ministries continue to launch public consultations calls to identify projects that would be financed with the new funds.
The world and Spanish economies continue to face an unprecedented crisis in recent history. At Equipo Economico, we estimate that Spanish GDP will have experienced a drop close to 12% in 2020, and that we will witness a partial recovery of the economy in the next two years with annual growth rates of 6.8% and 2.6%, respectively. However, the recovery that we pose in our next year’s forecast has a certain artificial character, insofar as it depends directly on the continuation of the short-term effects of expansionary economic policies. We will have to wait for the “veil” created by these policies and other measures adopted to face the crisis to disappear, in order to certainly determine the profound structural change that is actually taking place.
We have been homebound due to the declaration of the state of alarm since March 14th, which entails restrictions on the rights and guarantees laid down in the, mainly with regard the freedom of movement.
This situation is duly proportionate to the significant public health risks that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. And, for this reason, it has been assumed with calm and resignation by the citizens, who are setting an example of solidarity and civility.
We are currently suffering from a historical health crisis with very important economic repercussions. On Friday the Governor of the Bank of Spain referred to this situation as an "unprecedented disturbance". It is therefore necessary and pressing to adopt public policies that, initially, mitigate the impact, and later allow the economy to be restarted as soon as possible.
In Spain, the economy is growing well below previous years, but it will still close 2019 with an annual GDP increase of 2.0% and above the Eurozone average. We expect growth to stabilize in 2021 towards its long-term potential rate, at 1.5%. Nevertheless, domestic and international risks threaten this baseline scenario. Therefore, there is a clear need to guarantee a framework of certainty and economic reforms that generate activity. This is confronted, however, by the current political reality.
Despite the slowdown in the global economy, the most important indicators of the Spanish economy confirm prolongation of the expansive phase. At Equipo Económico we foresee an increase in GDP of 2.4% in 2019 and 2.1% in 2020. Inertia in activity continues to be sustained in the reforms implemented in previous years, and again in the historical minimum interest rates.
There will still be a bit more waiting, who knows if until next October 31st, to be certain of how the United Kingdom will leave the European Union (EU). Only then there will be enough information enabling us to analyze what real effects Brexit will have. At the moment, announcements related to future tariff policies in case of a no deal situation, together with the analysis of the current commercial patterns between Spain and the United Kingdom, allow us to identify the automotive sector as one of the potentially most affected. However, the effects are not homogeneous throughout the Spanish Regions. Thus, the production and, therefore, the employment level of the automotive sector in Aragon, Navarra and Castilla y Leon show a greater degree of exposure to the British market than other regions.
The tax reform approved in the US by the end of last year, could have a lower budgetary and economic scope than the one announced during its processing. In any case, it has implied a major adjustment to the calculation of a wide range of items of federal taxes, and is already having consequences for business activity.
Last week I participated in Jerusalem in the "OurCrowd Global Investor Summit", a benchmark international forum for financing the most innovative business and entrepreneurial projects. From our experience, and as it became even more evident during the Summit, the most successful projects in attracting investment have a clear answer to five very simple questions that I listed in this post.
The debate over construction of the Euro and Economic and Monetary Union is once again extremely topical. We must look find the reason for this renewed interest from among the most important threats to the European common project: Brexit and the twist in US foreign policy. The result of the French elections means this may be the time to move forward; and also for Spain to join the hard core that seeks a response to the most important issues for the future of Europe.
This Sunday, the French will vote in round 1 of the presidential elections. The anti-European proposals of most candidates are of concern to global economic players, as revealed by the slight rebound in the French public debt risk premium. Macroeconomic indicators do not appear to justify the social unrest suggested by the major strength of the intention to vote for extreme political options. Against this backdrop, the EU once again holds its breath because without France there is no Europe.
Argentina has experienced an important shift in its economic policy in less than a year, and it is already reaping the first rewards with an economic growth forecast for this year upwards 2% GDP, and close to 3% GDP for the next. In this scenario it is set the state travel headed by Mauricio Macri to Spain, with a clear objective of re-attracting the Spanish investment towards Argentina. Numbers begin to trend positively, we rely the legal framework remain stable to make it last.