The world economy continues to tackle the severe crisis caused by Covid-19. The pandemic has plummeted the Spanish economy harder than the rest of its European partners. The recovery of activity in the weeks following the end of the confinement has not shown the expected drive during the summer. Against this backdrop, Equipo Económico (Ee) has revised its GDP forecast for this year two points downwards, when the drop in GDP will reach -12.0%. The degree of success and effectiveness of economic policy will very much determine the strength of the recovery.
At Equipo Economico we maintain, at the moment, our estimated contraction of the Spanish GDP of, at least, 10% in 2020. In 2021, the economy pickup would allow it to grow at 7.2%, although this will be insufficient to reach previous annual levels of growth and employment. The implementation of an adequate economic policy is urgent to overcome the challenges posed by the depth of the crisis in Spain and strengthen recovery.
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.
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.
The case of Italy in the last year, and of other countries in the past, show the negative effect that the wrong economic policy messages can have. The Spanish economy continues to grow noticeably above the Eurozone average. However, it is immersed in a different phase of the economic cycle with lower expansion rates. The design of economic policy plays a determining role in the economy’s cyclic performance. Yet the uncertainty generated by numerous economic policy messages, at the national and regional level, has resulted in a significant drop in the number of car registrations in Spain in the last few months.
In recent years there has been an intense debate on the fiscal regime applicable to Spanish SICAV. The measures contained in the recently published Draft Law on General State Budgets for 2019 have important consequences on these entities, which must be analyzed by their shareholders in order to seek alternatives for action.
The increase and materialization of certain risks for global growth throughout 2018 have worsened the outlook for the coming years. In Europe, Brexit will continue to represent the main political risk facing the region during 2019. The business strategies to deal with it necessarily differ depending on the considered scenario. Among them, the possibility of a hard Brexit in 100 days must be accounted for.
The Spanish economy is immersed in a downturn phase of the expansive economic cycle, with more moderate variation rates. According to estimates in Equipo Economico, GDP will grow 2.6% in 2018 and 2.2% in 2019. These figures mean a downward revision with respect to our previous estimates, as a result of the change in external tail winds, lack of economic reforms since 2016 and the uncertainty generated in the last months by the messages on economic, budgetary and fiscal matters.
The Spanish economy is still undergoing intense and differential economic growth regarding the euro area. In addition, it is progressing with a more solid basis than previous periods of growth. However, the scenario we consider for the Spanish economy is now subject to upside risks, both inside and outside Spain.
The Spanish economy have started the year 2018 with strong inertia. The most recent indicators point to the fact that consumption growth has accelerated in the first quarter of 2018. In this way, GDP growth will again be supported by the strength of household consumption, deemed to increase by 2.3% this year and 2.1% next year. Several factors will continue to support positive consumption data in the coming months. In this scenario, we estimate consumption will only reach its pre-crisis levels in the second quarter of 2019, leaving room for recovery.
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 search for solutions to the aggressive practices in terms of taxation applied by technological multinationals in recent years is a priority for both the EU and the OECD countries. The possibilities go from the creation of new taxes, like the "Google rate", to the widening of the EP concept. However, there is currently no coordinated response on an international level. A clear positioning of the Tax Administrations will be necessary, which will favor a fair distribution of taxation, but also the greater legal certainty for the development of the activities of the digital economy.
Although hotel industry has been encouraged by excellent tourism data, is it really benefiting to its full potential? There is a negative trend in hotel supply in relation to the number of visitors. The irruption of alternative business models that offers tourist accommodation, such as technological platforms of collaborative economy between private individuals together with the new patterns of consumption of tourists, have led to the emergence of a new and important competitor.
The distribution of the profits obtained is consubstantial to partnership agreement. However, this periodic natural ending of previous pooling of goods and services in the company, is seriously altered by its correspondent taxation.
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.