Spanish GDP registered a variation of 2.2% in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the previous quarter. This rate is four tenths lower than that registered in the third quarter and two tenths higher than the one advanced on January 28. The year-on-year growth of economic activity stood at 5.5%, three tenths above that forecast by the INE (National Statistics Institute), in its first calculation. Finally, the increase in GDP closed 2021 with 5.1% compared to 2020, which implies a positive surprise.
The inevitable slowdown, stagflation or deep recession: three scenarios depending on the duration of the war and the fiscal response
The improvement in growth compared to the advance is due to the better behavior of consumption despite the impact of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, and as a reflection of the acceleration of the recovery in the second part of last year. Specifically, household consumption in the last quarter of the year grew by 1.5%, a figure that contrasts with the 1.2% drop given by the INE in the advance data.
The remuneration of employees shows interannual growth of 5.8% in the fourth quarter, two tenths less than the previous quarter. This result is a consequence of the 5.8% increase in the number of employees, eight tenths less than in the previous quarter, and that the average remuneration per employee varies by 0.0%, compared to -0.5% in the third quarter.
For its part, the gross operating surplus/gross mixed income generated in the economy grew by 14.7% year-on-year, 13.9 points more than in the third quarter.
In the behavior of the economic sectors in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, the growth of 7.7% in services and 1.3% in Industry stood out. Construction and Agriculture fell by 3.6% and 4.7%, respectively.
Lower growth in 2022 due to the war
2022 was the year in which the recovery, promoted by the European Union (EU) fund, should accelerate and exceed the activity levels of 2019 in Spain, but the impact of “Putin’s war”, as the Government, in growth is unquestionable. JP Morgan has been the latest investment bank to drastically lower its forecast for 2022 for economic activity in Spain, from an advance of 6% to 4.2%.
“Our revisions to Italy and Spain have been deeper than the other large economies in the eurozone, reflecting a relatively larger energy and inflationary shock,” says Marco Protopapa, an economist at the investment bank.