After a magnificent growth of 1.5% between April and June, the Spanish economy has slowed down in the third quarter. It has remained at a growth of only 2 tenths, 0.2% according to the data advanced this morning by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) this morning.
Household consumption is the main engine of growth between July and September, 1.1%, although it remains slightly below the increase experienced in the previous quarter. Despite the loss of purchasing power of households that suffer the impact of inflation, consumption behaves better than expected.
On the other hand, investment increased by 0.6%, which means three consecutive quarters on the rise, although it is certainly a much lower increase than in previous periods.
For the First Vice President and Minister of Economy, Nadia Calviño, these data "confirm that the Spanish economy continues to grow despite the impact of the war and the rise in interest rates". She also adds that "exports of goods and services are at record levels, despite the slowdown in international trade."
"Growth of 0.2% is not a bad figure, taking into account the negative circumstances we are experiencing, with the loss of purchasing power and the prevailing uncertainties," says María Jesús Fernández, from Funcas, who affirms that she expected worse . However, he adds that negative growth is on the way out, which is what he expects for the last quarter of the year.
With these data, the forecasts of Airef and different analysts who pointed to minimal growth during the summer are confirmed. They are the same ones that also forecast slightly negative growth in the next two quarters. According to Airef, GDP may fall between two and three tenths both in the last three months of this year and the first three of next, which means a technical recession.
In the second quarter, it was exports that pulled the cart, while, on the other hand, consumption was well below expectations. Inflation played a determining role in reducing the consumption of families who saw their purchasing power reduced and therefore stopped their purchases. The spectacular increase in food prices, more than 14% in September, helps explain this slowdown in consumption.
Despite the growth of 0.2% in the third quarter, and the poor expectations for the fourth, experts calculate that this year will end with a GDP of around 4.4%. The weight of the first months of the year is decisive. A different issue is next year's growth, on which much more moderate increases in GDP are being considered. They range from the low 0.7% that Funcas forecasts for the year 2023, to 1.5% of l'Airef and even the most optimistic 2.1% of the macroeconomic picture of the government budgets.