CaixaBank Research joins the multitude of analysts and institutions that point to a sharp slowdown in the Spanish economy next year. Specifically, it will go from an increase in GDP of 4.5% this year to a modest 1% next year, in line with what the European Commission pointed out last week and far from the 2.1% that the Government in its macroeconomic picture.
In any case, it is a growth well above that of the euro zone, given that Spain has the advantage of a much lower energy dependence on Russian gas than most European countries, and that will still allow a growth in net employment, although very limited; according to the monthly report that CaixaBank has published this morning.
Specifically, CaixaBank Research proposes that three quarters of stagnation in the economy be chained together and then, from the middle of next year, modest growth that would lead to 1% in 2023 as a whole. The stagnation would occur when adding 0, 2% that the economy grew this summer, a slight decline in the last quarter of the year, and zero growth in the first of 2023. From that moment on, a moderate increase in activity would make it possible to avoid the technical recession that is given by fact that the euro zone will suffer, and add 1% in the year as a whole.
Much of this slowdown in growth comes from the drop in consumption. The truth is that, despite high inflation, in the third quarter of the year, consumption surprised because it remained at considerable levels. Holidays sustained consumption above what inflation and disposable income seemed to forecast. However, now the cooling of consumption is taken for granted, both for the last quarters of this year and for the beginning of 2023.
As far as tourism is concerned, the truth is that it closed the summer in very good shape, with a level of overnight stays in tourist accommodation barely 1.3% lower than the summer of 2019. In addition, by 2023 it is expected that the activity tourism continues to grow, and exceed the level of 2019, thanks to the improvement of air mobility in Europe.
This growth of 1% next year will allow a net creation of employment, although very modest, it would be 0.5%, which indicates that there is no deterioration in the labor market. However, this job creation will coexist with an increase, also slight, in the unemployment rate of three tenths, up to 13.1%, given that job creation is insufficient to absorb the increase in the active population. The conclusion of CaixaBank Research is that the labor market is holding up better than expected, although it will lose steam next year.
Regarding inflation, it will give a break thanks to energy, but it will still be at high levels next year, specifically 4.5%, largely due to the persistence of underlying inflation, which does not take into account neither energy nor fresh food. CaixaBank Research economists stress that so far salaries are not producing any second-round effect, given that the salary increases already made and the future outlook for next year are of moderate intensity.
On the other hand, what will be noticed in 2023 will be a cooling of the housing market, although the possibility of a strong adjustment is ruled out. Sales are expected to fall by more than 10% in 2023, and a slowdown in prices in real terms of 5.6%, accumulating in 2022 and 2023.