Wednesday, February 24

The recovery slows down: the sales of large companies go from growing by 14% to stagnating at 0.2%

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The third quarter of the year was totally unexpected for the Spanish economy in the most positive of senses. GDP growth was historic, reaching 16.7% quarterly, sponsored by the return to the activity of the summer months, after June.

However, a glance at the monthly billing data of large companies warns that the momentum, little by little, It’s slowing down and it’s getting back to stagnation of economic indicators.

This indicator, offered by the Tax Agency, shows how activity little by little has been slowing down since May. In this month, sales grew with respect to April, the total closing period for the Spanish economy, by 14%.

Monthly evolution rates of the sales of large companies. Source: Tax Agency.

Obviously, this month-on-month growth has not occurred again. With everything, the slowdown since then has been constant. In June, the increase in sales was 13%, but in July it fell to 7%.

Thus, in August the increase in this indicator stood at 2% and In September, the last month for which the Agency has records, growth was almost imperceptible, a meager 0.2%.


The Tax Agency itself draws attention to this phenomenon. The September data “suggests a certain stagnation after the recovery of the period after the months affected by the state of alarm and given the recent evolution of the pandemic ”.

Said phenomenon is also recorded in employment. Employee recovery rates have been declining each month. Since June, when the month-on-month rate of wage earners grew by 5%, it has gone down to 0.2% in September.

Future scenarios

Think tanks such as BBVA Research have warned precisely about the significant slowdown that is taking place in the fourth quarter of the year.

However, there are also opinions that indicate that good third quarter data would offset, in the annual calculation, an eventual slowdown of the economy at the end of 2020. In addition, the markets are reacting very positively to the recent announcements about the commercialization of a coronavirus vaccine in the near future.

In fact, the economic vice president, Nadia Calviño, ruled out negative GDP on Tuesday in the fourth quarter of the year and recalled that the news about the vaccine or the decree to expedite the investments of European funds, “reduce” the expected downside risks.

He stressed that the labor market “continues to maintain a remarkable dynamism, with a notable growth in Social Security affiliations and a dynamic rate of departure of workers in temporary employment regulation files (ERTE) “.

The vice president, Nadia Calviño.

The vice president, Nadia Calviño.

However, he pointed out that they are waiting for the data of the ERTE of regrowth that will be known next week, for which the Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations, José Luis Escrivá, is conducting an evaluation of the net impact on the labor market.

“We see that in those cases in which it is possible to quickly stop the outbreaks, the economic impact is relatively minor. The impact of the second wave is not comparable to that of the first wave in spring“said Calviño. In addition, he added that the evolution of the European economies, also immersed in the second wave, will be” decisive “for the evolution of goods exports, since international tourism” is not recovering significantly ” .

In any case, he stressed that there is still a “dynamic” foreign sector and a “comparatively better performance” in terms of manufactures with respect to services.

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