Half full or half empty. As seen through a micro or macro glass, Spanish businessmen appreciate the state of the glass very differently. 93% of companies trust in a favorable evolution of their business in the year 2019 that has just started: 38% believe that their situation will improve and 55% predict that it will remain stable. Only 7% consider that the exercise will bring worse news than the previous one, according to the report "Expectations and Trends in the Spanish Company 2019", prepared by the professional services organization BDO with surveys of CEOs, financiers and CEOs of national companies.
Despite the unpredictable outcome of Brexit and the fact that the slowdown is hitting hard at the doors of the Eurozone (the beards of the Italian neighbor are already getting wet in the recession), our companies still notice a clear picture for their activity: 44% foresee an increase in their turnover, 35% of the investment and 29% of the creation of employment. "After the last and deep period of economic crisis, Spanish companies prepared, cleaned up their balance sheets, made an important effort to de-indebtedness, increased their productivity and a very important number began a process of internationalization and search for new markets. These bases allow Spanish companies to cope much better prepared a slowdown in the economy, so that the expectations of their growth are positive, "explains Alfonso Osorio, president of BDO in Spain on this marked optimism of the Spanish company in full period of time. slowdown.
However, when the focus is on the economic evolution of Spain, the positive vision becomes blurred. 31% of entrepreneurs believe that the economic situation in our country is bad (Only 4% have that perception of their own business) and 26% believe that it will get worse. The national political situation explains this marked dichotomy. By far, it is perceived as the main conditioning factor for the future of their businesses. 31% of respondents believe that the impact on their company will be negative. A fragmented political map, the tensions in Catalonia, the paralyzing pre-electoral environment … the businessmen perceive that the clouds do not stop accumulating. "For both companies and investors, a situation of political stability always leads to a greater appetite for investment and greater economic development. Political and regulatory stability is one of the key factors that investors and companies keep in mind to continue investing. The current situation, with a Parliament so fragmented and without the approval of the Budgets for 2019, does not help the stability needed to remain a country so attractive for investment, "explains Osorio.
And is that the bulk of companies believe that the multiplied tax burdens and measures as the rise of the SMI 22% will undoubtedly have an impact on the labor market: 34% believe that job creation will decrease due to the increase in labor costs. The president of BDO agrees in that assessment: "We think that any measure that supposes a greater tax burden for companies has a direct correlation with the creation of employment," he stresses.
Osorio considers that "the tail winds of the economy until this moment will cause an inertia in our companies, at least, throughout the first half of 2019". Another thing is the second half of the year. «It may be more complicated because of the global macroeconomic environment in which a slowdown of the economy is taking place and that will end, finally, to affect Spain ", he concedes. Combined with domestic political instability, "it can lead to a slowdown in investment forecasts that Spanish companies have and, therefore, could also affect their growth strategy." But, for now, the glass is still moderately full.
The technological priority
Technological innovations appear as the first factor of opportunity for companies (67% believe that it will have a positive impact) and also as the main strategic weapon (48% give top priority). The president of BDO does not believe that it is a mere declaration of intentions. « We are fully convinced that Spanish companies work to meet the challenges of digitization, of transformation and innovation. We think that in Spain, especially in terms of digitalisation and digital transformation processes, we are up to the task, if not the vanguard, compared to our main European counterparts, "he concludes. A review of the following strategic priorities of the company confirms that the business change is under way: R & D activities (high priority for 47% of companies), the improvement of production and management processes (46%) and the cybersecurity (45%).