After strengthening her power in the Government by being appointed First Vice President, Nadia Calviño faces her first great dilemma of this new stage with the macroeconomic table for Budgets Generals of the State 2022, which could have to be revised down in the coming weeks.

The also Minister of Economic Affairs sinned last year of an excess of optimism with the forecasts on which the public accounts were based. And this exercise is also based on more positive figures than the consensus of national and international organizations for the elaboration of the spending ceiling for next year.

The scope of the fifth wave of Covid-19, the rebound in oil or the evolution of inflation are three elements that are pressuring Calviño to adjust down his projections for 2022, an exercise for which the Government has forecast a growth of 7%, compared to 6.5% this year.

This is an estimate for next year that is above the 5.8% predicted by Funcas on Tuesday – in line with the Bank of Spain – or the 6.3% expected by the European Commission.

All these organizations start from more prudent growth calculations for this year than those of the Spanish Government and all three share the idea that the economic rebound of 2021 will lose steam in 2022 against the speech of the Executive.

Last April, Calviño already had to modify his projections downwards, when he cut the growth of 2021 by 3.3 points – to 6.5% – and in return raised the expected one for 2022.

They are numbers that contemplate a tourist season without the new limitations that are being announced to contain the ‘delta variant’ and oil prices much lower than those that mark the markets today. Two dark clouds that are overshadowing the effect on the economic rebound that the good evolution of consumption or advance of vaccination.

Doubts about tourism

The increase in the accumulated incidence in recent days and the news that have marked the start of the season, such as the ‘mega outbreak’ of Covid-19 in Mallorca, can have a very negative impact on the 2021 tourist season.

So much so that Funcas estimates that the ‘Delta variant’ will subtract “at least three tenths” from growth of Spanish GDP this year. About 8,500 million euros in tourism revenue depend on how the containment of the virus evolves during the summer, a figure that would represent 40% of 2019.

The Government had set itself a goal that this year, the number of foreign tourists visiting Spain were half of those who attended in 2019. But, “if we stay at less than half of this figure, we will have a much slower recovery,” economist Toni Roldán warned last week.

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“In tourism, there is a real risk and another political one. On the one hand, the spread of infections in people under 30 years of age is being very intense, although there are no significant increases in hospital entrances and mortality. But on the other hand , there’s also economic nationalism incentives to keep as many travelers as possible in the countries of origin, “he explained in a webminar the Director of the ESADE Center for Economic Policies.

This is the case of the United Kingdom, which has relaxed the conditions to travel to Spain as of July 19, but closely follows the evolution of the contagion data with the temptation to change the color of its traffic light for British travelers. .

Spain is at stake up to two points of GDP in ‘saving the summer’ in a context in which vaccination will not have reached the target of 70% of the immunized population until September.

However, the accumulated incidence data are not the only ones that threaten the economic recovery, which in any case will be boosted in the second half of the year by the expected improvement in the health crisis and the beginning of the arrival of European funds.

Oil rise

Oil has become another important stone for the Government to meet its macroeconomic projections. Even though the barrel of Brent is in levels lower than those of 2018, its escalation is a stumbling block for the Spanish economy, which continues to be highly dependent on abroad in terms of energy.

The barrel of Brent last week exceeded 77 dollars and this Tuesday it remained above $ 75.80.

After the collapse of crude oil was a help so that the Spanish economy did not sink further in 2020 -with a fall that would have exceeded 11% of GDP-, the Government had a rise in ‘black gold’ for this year , but lower than the one you are registering.

Thus, the macroeconomic table of the Ministry of Economy foresees a average crude price of $ 60.8 this year and $ 58.2 for the next one.

Without there being an official figure on the impact of the rise in oil on Spanish GDP, there are estimates that suggest that a A fall of 10 dollars in the price of a barrel Brent usually leads to a growth of two tenths del PIB.

“Every time crude rises, it hurts Spain, but it has not yet reached the highs of October 2018. We come from very low prices, of $ 16 last year, and a rise was normal,” explains the analyst financier Juan Ignacio Crespo.

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Added to this rise is the general rebound in the prices of raw materials living in a moment reminiscent of 2011, when they hit highs before turning around and beginning to spiral downward that has lasted 10 years. This is already having serious repercussions in sectors, such as construction, with an increase in costs that is going to be transferred to the price of housing.


In this context, Funcas believes that watch out for the specter of inflation, a variable that “will detract from the rebound as the intensity of the global recovery continues to generate bottlenecks in key supplies.” Inflation is expected to reach 2.5% this year and relax to 1.6% in 2022 in Spain.

The evolution of prices adds another economic threat from the United States that may have consequences in Europe and Spain. This is the reaction that financial markets may have to the expected start of the withdrawal of stimuli by the Federal Reserve.

“Monetary policy will remain lax but there may be financial instability with contagion to peripheral countries when the Fed begins its tapering, as it already happened in 2014 “, the economist José Carlos Díez warns in a conversation with this newspaper.

Economic rebound

A few tenths up or down, economists agree that there will be a recovery this year despite these uncertainties.

“At a global level, we have probably seen the peak and China is already in a process of economic normalization. The United States and Europe are lagging behind, but they are growing strongly,” Díez recalls.

However, it will be necessary to see if the numbers for Spain that the Government sent in April to the European Commission are valid or if they should be adjusted in the face of these unforeseen events to draw up the spending ceiling, the first step to prepare Budgets.

Economy and Finance start with bad antecedent from last year, when they established that growth in 2021 could reach 9.8% due to European funds, in a forecast that in the second quarter of the year – with the accounts already in force – had to be cut to 6.5%.

That Brussels and the Bank of Spain speak of a growth for 2022 of 6.3% and 5.8% respectively does not help Calviño to maintain that advance of the GDP of 7% that would allow Spain to spend more next year.

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