The pace of growth of the Spanish economy loses steam, putting at risk the recovery of production and employment. Among the causes is the weakness of the productive model after five years without structural reforms that can only be tackled with a long-term vision and consensus; something utopian with the division of forces in Parliament and the impositions of the parties that supported the investiture of the current weak Government. Other causes come from abroad. On the one hand, the winds that drove our growth begin to be gales against. Growth in the EU countries, which absorbs two thirds of our exports, slows down as in the emerging countries. The evolution of oil and the euro are difficult to predict. In addition, the low rate phase ends with the normalization of the monetary policy of the European Central Bank.
The weak growth in the European Union is not alien to its political and identity crisis. The fracture between its members, reflected in the Brexit or in the anti-European positions of populist and extremist governments, has a cost in economic terms. The unfinished Monetary Union, the convergence in budgetary policy, a more determined energy and climate policy, an additional effort in innovation and digitization or common immigration and defense policies are pending subjects for the EU to maintain its influence. On the positive side, the Brexit and the anti-Europeanism of the Italian Government offer Spain the opportunity to lead, together with Berlin and Paris, the construction of Europe.
The commercial war between the US and China It poses a serious threat to our recovery due to uncertainty about world trade.
Latin America, an important investment market for our companies, faces great challenges from the economic and political point of view, given the great distrust of its citizens in democracy and institutions, reflected in the results of the last electoral processes. The positive news comes from the countries of the Pacific Alliance, which continue to bet on economic freedom and openness. Venezuela and Nicaragua, at the opposite pole, show the path of failure. The Middle East is also a source of concern about the situation of its two regional powers in conflict. The Khashoggi business It has weakened the reformist image of Saudi Prince Mohamed Bin Salman on an international scale, and Iran suffers the re-imposition of US sanctions that will weaken its ability to export and grow. And the wars in Syria and Yemen continue.
Africa continues its slow road to development. The majority of countries in the North, whose populations suffered the frustration of the hopes of the Arab Spring, need institutional reforms and greater economic freedom to strengthen their ties with Europe. The sub-Saharan economies are growing at a slow pace, with exceptions, and the patience of their young populations is over and encourages their desire to emigrate assuming enormous risks. Strengthening their institutions, improving education, increasing investments to diversify their economies, or trade liberalization to achieve an improvement in their exports are unfinished tasks.
In the Círculo de Empresarios we know that the destiny of an economy as integrated in the global market as the Spanish one is conditioned by what happens beyond our borders. That is why we have increased our international activity, constituting an Advisory Board with a majority of prestigious international members. Their opinions and analysis allow us to exercise our function as a center of thought with a more global perspective to enrich our proposals, seeking a better Spain for all.