The real estate sector is proving to be one of the most affected by the Covid-19 crisis in Spain. The framework of uncertainty around the virus, together with poor economic prospects and the impact on the labor market are delaying investment decisions. All of the above forecast that the diminishing demand for residential housing will continue in the coming months. On the other hand, the medical origin of this crisis, as well as its exceptional nature, could be causing a change in the tastes and preferences of consumers, who now place a higher value in space and light, to the detriment of location.
The world economy is being strongly affected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The necessary search for the containment of the progression of the disease has led to a general disruption of the economic activity, including Spain. In this context, we expect the contraction of Spanish GDP to reach 10% in 2020. The impact of the crisis will be heterogeneous at the sectorial level. In order to recover from this crisis, the needs of the productive network must be considered with the utmost care, since they represent the main generator of employment.
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.
Since the 2012 labor reform, the Spanish business environment has been better adapted to market needs and technological changes, with a positive net effect on the level of employment.
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.
Consumption of traditional television is decreasing in Spain, consequence of the new trends that users have when watching audiovisual contents. This drop in consumption means a significant reduction in the generalist television audience, especially in regional televisions, while the audience of pay TV follows a significantly growing tendency. This change in consumption patterns is shown in the fact that in 2017, for the first time, revenues from pay TV exceeded open televisión ones.
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.