October 21, 2020

Historical collapse of 5.2% of GDP in the first quarter due to the impact of COVID-19



The Spanish economy suffered the impact of the coronavirus crisis and fell by 5.2% in the first quarter, its largest quarterly decline recorded in the historical series of the National Statistics Institute (INE), which started in 1970. Until now, the The largest quarterly drop in GDP was that of the first quarter of 2009 (-2.6%).

In the three preceding quarters (second, third and fourth quarter of 2029), the Spanish economy was growing at rates of 0.4%. The decline of 5.2% recorded in the first quarter exceeds the estimates made by the Bank of Spain, which had predicted a 4.7% drop, yes, with “many doses of caution”, since this calculation is based on assuming a certain proportion of decline in activity in some branches.

In the interannual rate, the GDP for the first quarter contracted 4.1%, compared to the 1.8% rise in the previous quarter. In this case, the greatest decline recorded so far, that of the second quarter of 2009, when the Spanish economy contracted 4.4% year-on-year, has not been overcome.

The contribution of national demand to the year-on-year change in GDP is -4.3 points, 5.6 points lower than that of the fourth quarter. For its part, external demand presents a contribution of 0.2 points, three tenths lower than that of the previous quarter.

Household final consumption expenditure experienced an interannual rate of ─6.7%, 7.9 points less than in the last quarter. For its part, the final consumption expenditure of the Public Administrations shows a growth of 3.6%, 1.2 points more than in the previous quarter.

Exports of goods and services show a variation of ─6.3% compared to the first quarter of 2019, which is 9.6 points less than in the previous quarter. This variation is produced by a decrease in the interannual rates of goods exports (from 2.0 to ─4.7%) and of services exports (from 6.0% to ─9.6%). Within these, the expenditure of non-residents in the economic territory drops 20.4 points (from 1.2% to ─19.2%).

Imports of goods and services vary by ,47.4% compared to the same quarter of the previous year, 9.5 points less than in the fourth quarter. This decrease is explained by the decrease in imports of goods (from 0.9% to ─7.3%) and of imports of services (from 7.0% to ─7.6%). For its part, the expenditure of residents in the rest of the world decreased its interannual variation this quarter by 16.5 points this quarter (from 8.8% to ─7.7%).

Equivalent full-time jobs, defined as the number of hours worked between the average working day in full-time jobs, decreased by 1.9% compared to the previous quarter. This variation is 2.8 points lower than that of the fourth quarter and is explained, according to the INE, by the combined effect of the variation in hours worked and the reduction in average hours in full-time jobs (-3, one%).

The number of hours actually worked varies by ,05.0% compared to the fourth quarter, 5.8 points less than in the previous quarter. In year-on-year terms, the number of hours actually worked decreased 5.6 points, to ─4.2%.

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