The National Association of Manufacturers of Capital Goods (Sercobe) has presented the data of 2017 in its general assembly, among which stand out the increase of 6.3% of apparent consumption (internal market) and the increase of turnover, of 6 , 6%, up to 57,500 million euros. The sector thus achieves its fifth consecutive year of growth, and far exceeds the increase of 3.1% registered in 2016.
"Both figures show, in line with the positive evolution of the Spanish economy, the consolidation of the recovery of the productive capacity of the industry, translated especially in the generation of quality and stable employment and supported by the good performance of foreign trade. In this way, Spain reaffirms one more year as a well-prepared and highly competitive country in the capital goods industry, "underlines Sercobe.
The Spanish capital goods industry achieved 72.3% of its turnover in foreign markets in 2017, which reaffirms it as the main export sector of the Spanish economy, with a weight of 20.3% of the total. In this sense, exports recover the upward trend with a strong increase of 15.8% in 2017 (-2.4% in 2016), up to 41,600 million euros, which is a historical record. This figure also confirms that the decrease experienced the previous year corresponded to a merely conjunctural situation.
The bulk of sales abroad in 2017 was concentrated in the most developed countries of the EU, with 56% total, followed by Latin America (10.7%) and the United States and Canada (7.6%).
Imports, meanwhile, increased 11.7% compared to 2016, up to 52,100 million euros, reflecting the consolidation of the recovery of domestic demand in Spain. According to official sources, this industry already accounts for 21.5% of the total Spanish import (one year before its weight was 17%).
The main customers of the Spanish industry of capital goods in 2017 were France (13.7% of exports), Germany (11.6%), the United Kingdom (7.8%) and the United States (6.9%), while Germany was the largest supplier, with 18.4% of imports, followed by China (13.5%), France (9.8%) and Italy (8.5%).
The creation of employment in the capital goods industry accelerates and achieves an increase of 2.8% in 2017, seven tenths above the increase recorded in 2016 (which was 2.1%). The companies of the sector closed the past exercise with near 275,000 direct employments, number that reaches the 500.000 if we include the places of induced work. Likewise, there was a good performance of the sectorial contracting in 2017, which grew by 7.7%, higher than the 4.1% of the previous year.
The increase in volume contracted during the year was even higher than that recorded by turnover and reached 7.7% year-on-year.
The good business results were translated into a considerable increase in own investments, which contributed to a greater economic activity. A) Yes, own sector investment accounted for 1.9% of turnover, higher than the 1.7% of the previous year.
For the general director of Sercobe, Juan Ramón Durán, «Competitiveness, quality and efficiency are key to the success of the international capital goods industry, being the main export sector of the Spanish economy. In this sense, the 2017 balance shows very positive data for the sector both in terms of turnover and dynamism of the internal and external market. Proof of this is the creation of highly qualified and stable sector employment, thus contributing to the increase of its weight over the total of employed people ».
Forecasts for this year
The national industry of capital goods points to a good exercise in 2018 in line with the progressive recovery experienced by the Spanish economy. The data that Sercobe manages with respect to the growth of the total turnover of the sector in Spain allow us to forecast an increase of between 3% and 4%, what will contribute, once again, to the advance of the economy of Spain. In that sense, employment in the sector could grow around 1% or 2%.