Business Confidence

In January 2018, Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index rose to 58.8 (58.1 in December), its highest level since June 2006. France leads the growth ranking at 59.6, followed closely by Germany, Italy, and Ireland at 59.

The February 2018 estimate is that of a slip to 57.5, a three-month low, although it remains in expansion and is indicative of sustained activity growth.

In Spain, the growth of this Index soared to 56.7 in January, its six-month high (55.4 in December), driven by the upturn in services to 56.9 (54.6 in December). On the other hand, the manufacturing PMI continues in expansion despite dipping slightly (from 55.8 in December to 55.2 in January).


In 2017, 94,382 companies were created, 6.6% less compared with 2016, and with a 16.4% lower subscribed share capital. Moreover, 31,007 companies increased their share capital (-1.6% year-on-year) and 21,554 were dissolved (+ 1.6%).

By sectors, the companies created in Retail trade and Real estate, Finance & Insurance stand out, with 22.1% and 13.6% of the total, respectively. The number of dissolved companies was higher in Retail trade (20.9% of the total) and Construction (18.2%).

Glass-ceiling Index

The Glass-ceiling Index developed by The Economist identifies which countries provide the best social and working environment for working women. Specifically, it analyses ten indicators related to education, the labour market, work-life balance and the career progression attained by women.

Among the 29 countries examined, Sweden, Norway and Iceland lead this ranking, while South Korea, Japan and Turkey have the worst scores.

Spain, in 15th position, ranks four places above the OECD average.

Sovereign funds 1

Currently, on a global scale, 92 sovereign funds manage $7.5 trillion (€6tn), equivalent to 9.4% of world GDP and an increase of 4% in comparison with 2016. In 2017, the top ten controlled 75% of the assets.

67% of investment is concentrated in three sectors: technology (26.1%), real estate (23.9%) and finance (17%).

In Spain, these funds amass investments of more than €36.4 billion in almost all sectors (finance, energy, manufacturing, technology, etc.).

Emerging stock markets

In 2017, the MSCI for emerging economies grew by 34.4%, 1.7 times more than the global MSCI (19.8%).

Emerging markets began 2018 with profit margins of about 10%. However, these were offset by the losses incurred during the twoweek corrections period that affected stock markets worldwide. Currently, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index has resumed its upward climb by means of recent rises (> 5%), and reflected in the positive stock market performance in Latin America (5.4%) and in developing Asia (+ 4.6%).

S&P 500 Results

In 4Q 2017, the profit growth of the S&P 5002 companies reached 15.2%, exceeding the 11% estimate of December 31. 75% of the companies that presented their results have reported higher earnings per share (EPS) than expected in all sectors, with Energy being in the lead.

The estimated P/E ratio for the next 12 months has fallen to 17.1 times (18.2 on December 31st) due to a greater increase in the expected EPS compared to the price. Nevertheless, this ratio still exceeds the average of the last five years (16) and that of the last ten years (14.3).

2 As of February 16, 2018, 80% of the S&P500 companies had presented results

‘Así está…The company’, a publication of the Círculo de Empresarios produced by its Department of the Economy, contains information and opinion from reliable sources. However, the Círculo de Empresarios does  ot guarantee its accuracy and does not take responsibility for any errors or omissions. This document is merely informative. As a result, the Círculo de Empresarios is not responsible for any uses that may be made of the ublication. The opinions and estimates of the Department can be modified without any warning.

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