Trade in goods, Spain
Between January and September (Eurostat), exports of Spanish goods increased by 1.4% year-on-year, which is 2.5pp less than in the same period of 2018, to €221.5 billion (18.4% of GDP). Concurrently, imports slowed down to a moderate growth of 1% year-onyear, compared with 6.3% in the same period last year, standing at €248.2 billion (20.6% of GDP).
By destination, extra-community exports (33.5% of the total) increased by 1.5% yearon- year (vs 3.8% average in 2016-2018 period) and the sales to EU-28 countries (66.5% of the total) increased by 1% (vs 5.9% average in 2016-2018).
In Q3 2019, the Competitiveness Trend Index1 of Spain fell by 0.8% in comparison to the EU-28. This confirms that, since January, the competitiveness via prices of the Spanish economy has improved due to the moderation of the CPI (0.1% interannual in October). At the same time, it showed a similar trend vis-à-vis all OECD countries
and the BRICS, dropping by 2.6% and 5.1%, respectively.
Real estate sector, Spain
In September, the purchase and sale of housing decreased by 12% year-on-year, the second-largest decline of the year after August (-21.9%). By type, the sale of second-hand homes (83.1% of the total) decreased by 10.1% yearon- year, and that of new construction (16.9% of the total) by 20.1%.
By Autonomous Communities, Aragon and the Region of Murcia were the only ones to report positive figures (3.7% and 3.1% yearon- year, respectively), while the largest
setbacks occurred in Asturias (27.5%), La Rioja (25.2 %), and Navarra (22.6%).
These figures reflect the loss of dynamism of the real estate sector since the beginning of the year mainly due to the darkening outlook of the Spanish economy, the impact of the new Mortgage Law, and the national political instability. Specifically, between January and September, the purchase and sale of housing decreased on average by 3.2% year-on-year, compared with the average increase of 12.4% reported in the same period of 2018.
Industrial production, Eurozone
In September, the Eurozone industrial production declined by 1.7% year-on-year, exceeding the -1.3% annual average since January, mainly due to the deterioration of international trade and the global economic slowdown.
By branches of activity, divergent behaviour is observed. On the one hand, a fall in the production of capital goods and durable consumer goods by 1.4% and 0.8% year-onyear, respectively. On the other hand, a rise in production of non-durable consumer goods by 1.6%, on the back of stable household consumption. This evolution explains why the biggest decline in industrial production of all the main
Eurozone economies occurred in Germany. It is due to its high specialisation in the production of capital goods and durable consumer goods oriented for export. Specifically, in September, this is how the industrial production in the main economies of the monetary zone evolved:
• In Germany, it decreased by 5.4% yearon- year, exceeding the average decline of 4.2% recorded since January 2019.
• In France, it stagnated (0%), compared to the average growth of 0.5% year-onyear since the beginning of the year.
• In Italy, it decreased by 2.1% year-onyear, which is 1pp higher than the average decline since January 2019.
• In Spain, the rate of increase slowed to 0.4% year-on-year, compared to the average 0.7% recorded since the beginning of the year.
In regards to the leading indicators of the sector, since February, the Eurozone manufacturing PMI has remained in the contraction zone, currently standing at 45.9 points, given the weak production and low demand for new orders, and business confidence is at record lows since November 2012.
Trade flows, WTO
After the slight increase of 0.2% year-on-year in global goods trade in Q2 2019 (vs 3.5% in Q2 2018), in September, the WTO Goods Trade Barometer experienced a marginal increase to 96.6 points, which is still below its reference value (100 points). In this context, the WTO forecasts a 1.2% annual growth of global trade flows in 2019, a record low since 2009. It was 3% in 2018.