March 7, 2021

The UN expects the Spanish economy to slow down and grow 1.9% in 2020 and 2021

The Spanish economy will slow down its growth by three tenths and the national GDP will increase 1.9% in 2020 and 2021 after rising 2.2% in 2019, according to the global outlook report presented today by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Despite the slowdown, Spanish growth in 2020 will be higher than the European average in this year and also in economies such as France (with growth prospects of 1.5%), German (1.3%) or British (1 , 2%), according to the United Nations agency.

The study foresees an inflation in Spain of 1.6% this year and 1.9% in the next, after registering a rise in prices in 2019 of 1.3%, and expects a progressive decrease in the unemployment rate (from 12.8% in 2020, one point less than last year), although it will remain the second largest in the European Union (EU) only behind Greece.


Globally, the United Nations estimates that the world economy will recover slightly after registering its worst growth rate of the decade in 2019 (2.3%) and will grow 2.5% in 2020.

Although trade tensions between countries such as China and the United States or geopolitical frictions will continue to be risk factors that threaten such growth, the UN is confident that the acceleration will also continue in 2021, with a global GDP rise of 2.7%.

However, UNCTAD warns that in a negative scenario (in which, for example, China and the US do not reach trade peace, or if positive agreements between the EU and the United Kingdom are not reached after the “brexit”) economic growth worldwide this year could be reduced to only 1.8%.


The report foresees that the European Union will grow 1.6% in 2020, after doing so 1.4% in 2019, and that Japan will go from 0.7% last year to 0.9% in the current one, maybe benefited from the synergies that accompany the Tokyo Olympics.

On the other hand, China and the US will slow their growth: while the Asian giant would lower its pace from 6.1% in 2019 to 6% in 2020, the brake on a US in “constant political uncertainty”, according to UNCTAD, would be more pronounced, since which would increase from a 2.2% increase in GDP last year to 1.7% in which it has just begun.

Both superpowers would thus accuse the effects of a trade war that, however, in the opinion of the director of Globalization and Development Strategies of UNCTAD, Richard Kozul-Wright, had a limited effect in a world where finance has much greater weight than exchanges. of goods.


The global growth of 2020, according to the expert, “will depend on the behavior of large emerging economies that have suffered greatly in the last two years, such as Argentina, Mexico, Turkey or Russia.”

In these economies, strong growth rates are expected, as in the case of Mexico (from 0% of 2019 to 1.3% in 2020) and Argentina, for which some relief from its recession is forecast, with a fall of GDP of 1.3% this year after suffering a 3% decline in 2019.

The report asks to respond to the economic uncertainties that will persist in 2020 with more balanced responses than the current ones and that combine fiscal and monetary policy, after a past decade in which the intervention on national currencies was excessively depended.


UNCTAD includes an extensive chapter of the report on the energy transition, in which it recognizes that the improvement of the quality of life on the planet since the last century has depended greatly on the depredation of natural resources and the use of fossil fuels, “a economic model that is no longer viable. “

“Changing the use of energy sources is the only way to sever the ties between the economy and greenhouse gas emissions,” the UN concludes, to point out that the world still does not realize how urgent this change is.

Kozul-Wright stressed that the “new green pact” to which the European Union seems committed in the face of compliance with the Paris Agreement is “a step in the right direction”, although there are doubts about the financing needed to implement it and also a worldwide version of this initiative is peremptory.

Antonio Broto


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