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.
"The dead you kill are in good health". Before starting writing these lines, I wanted to be sure of the origin of this well-known phrase, which I remembered having heard in a performance of "The Revenge of Don Mendo", back in my distant school days. I never did, since I have found attributions of this phrase or similar that arrive at the beginning of XVIIth Century. Two centuries later, John Stuart Mill and other economists delved into topics that are again and again, such as theories of sacrifice and tax escalation, single tax versus multiple taxes, and saving's double taxation. These subjects, despite of being given repeatedly by dead and finished, once again enjoy good health again and again.
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.
After the lengthy period experienced by the Spanish economy since the end of 2013 with a moderate and even negative performance of prices, with a fall in prices of 1.1% posted in April 2016, the year-on-year Consumer Price Index (CPI) in January and in February was 3%, which implied a significant acceleration in price increases. This is largely due to the energy component of the CPI, which will gradually moderate as the year progresses, closing 2017 with average inflation of 2.2, according to estimates by Equipo Económico. This return of inflation, however, has not been risk free.
The real estate market in Spain is in a bullish mood and continues steadily on the path of recovery and sustainable growth, after having undergone an important adjustment in the last decade, both in terms of volume and prices. Thus, during the past year, home sales experienced growth of 13.6% to attain 403,866 transactions, making three consecutive years of upward trend. The challenge facing the real estate sector is, in any case, twofold: stabilizing the sector and avoiding the mistakes and excesses committed in the past. Therefore, recovery must be prudent, sustained and gradual throughout 2017.