Javier Campo (Aecoc) predicts that Spain will be the last EU country to emerge from the current economic crisis


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The president of Aecoc, Javier Campo, has predicted this Wednesday that Spain will be the last country in the EU to emerge from the current economic crisis due to its dependence on seriously affected sectors, such as tourism, leisure and restaurants, and for the lower public contribution that will go to improve the situation of companies. "We will make 11% of GDP in bank aid available to companies, which is an important figure, but less than the 15% -20% that is being allocated to neighboring countries."

In a seminar within the Forum "Post Covid-19 Economy" and organized by Next Education, Campo specified that the Spanish economy will not return to the 2019 indicators until the third quarter of 2022. This forecast is conditional on their not occurring outbreaks that affect the economy and a vaccine is achieved during the first quarter of next year. In this sense, the president of Aecoc has considered that the exceptional nature of the situation requires the analysis of the years 2020 and 2021 together to incorporate the rebound effect that the economy will have next year. "We are facing a 24-month year, which we will close with a 4.5% drop in GDP and around 800,000 jobs destroyed."

Despite the negative prospects, Campo recalls that "this is not a financial crisis like the one of 2008, which caused a drop of 10% of GDP, led to a lack of liquidity in the system and forced a recovery that has lasted for years, but we are facing a supply shock caused by the closure of businesses.

Along these lines, Javier Campo has applauded the effort of the European Union to facilitate the liquidity of the countries to avoid repeating a financial crisis and has advanced that, after the supply shock, in the next phase of this crisis we will experience a «shock of the demand". The president of Aecoc has advanced that this demand will be affected by the reduction in disposable income and by the fall in the consumer confidence index. As a consequence, spending containment and a search for safe experiences are expected, which will favor the development of electronic commerce. "Everything that prevents people from leaving home will grow," Campo continues.

In the analysis of the lessons that this crisis is providing, Campo has highlighted the need to review all business risk plans. "We have very well identified aspects such as fires and computer attacks, but we did not foresee a lack of availability of people, which are essential to maintain activity," explained the manager.

On the other hand, the president of AECOC has considered that in the near future local production will grow, due to the need to minimize the risk of having highly delocalized productions, and the supply chains will be reviewed to make them more efficient and less dependent on countries like China.

In his review of the situation of the most affected sectors, Campo recalled that with the expected 11% drop in GDP, the survival of many businesses, restaurants and bars is in danger. Specific, Campo has estimated at 40,000 bars that could disappear from the total of 300,000 in Spain. Similarly, he anticipated that international tourism will not return to Spain until Easter 2021, provided there is a vaccine available.

In this sense, he recalled the need for the administration to favor measures such as the relaxation of ERTEs and that, beyond guaranteeing the liquidity of companies, help their solvency. "The 100,000 million guarantees made available by the government will serve, in many cases, to mitigate the losses generated in this crisis, but many companies will continue with broken balance sheets and may end up closing if their solvency is not guaranteed," Campo said.

Finally, Campo has recognized the effort of the entire supply chain, which ensured supply in the most critical phases of the crisis. "The agrifood chain has demonstrated its solidity and its responsibility to guarantee the supply and safety of workers and employees," he said, recalling that "this crisis would have been very different in a situation of food shortages."

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