A sign of economic cooling like that of its northern European neighbors or a correction after the rise in inflation a year ago? The latest business billing data from the INE, published today, show that the turnover of companies registered a decline of 4.9% in June, the highest in interannual terms in two years.
The fall is the third in a row and also exceeds those of April and May. It is also the highest since February 2021, when the decline was 9.2%, and contrasts with what happened a year ago, when the invasion of Ukraine triggered inflation and contributed to the fact that, between April and August 2022, income of companies increased by close to 30%, an exceptional percentage.
In June, compared to the previous month, the decline in billing was 1.2% and was mainly due to industry, with falls of 2.8%, and commerce, 1.7%. If the monthly evolution in recent years is taken, the trend has been one of growth except this year, in which there have been three falls, in January, April and June.
The INE data also show that monthly billing has gone from statistical stability in barely five years to becoming a carousel since the outbreak of the pandemic, and hence the distortions when making comparisons. This June it has fallen by 4.9%, but in June of last year it rose by 30%, while on the same dates in 2021 the increases were 22%, compared to declines of 16% in the same month of 2020, with lockdowns only partially lifted.
The rises in interest rates now mark the economic moment, but so do the good moment of tourism, with good forecasts for this year, and the registration record in the quarter closed in June registered by the EPA, of 21 million workers .
A report published today by Mediolanum warns instead that there will be no "soft landing" in the euro zone after the interest rate hikes and predicts a recession. "Investors should not be fooled by positive economic data. The full force of monetary tightening has not yet been felt: the effect is delayed, but it will come," he says.
The question is how this whole environment is affecting Spanish companies. The latest survey among the companies themselves carried out by the Bank of Spain, corresponding to the second quarter of the year, concludes that there is a "high dispersion by sector", with advances in services and decreases in agriculture and commerce.
"The upward pressures on production costs and sales prices are slowing down in the second quarter," concludes the Bank of Spain. "One-year expectations would also indicate lower cost increases and, somewhat less intensely, sales prices and labor costs," he adds.
In the first semester, the large companies of the Ibex earned 7% less, despite the good data from the electric companies and the banks. A total of 266.810 million euros entered, a figure very similar to that of a year ago. ArcelorMittal, with 33,320 million, is the one that invoices the most, ahead of Repsol's 28,462 million and Santander's 28,234 million.