Business perception

In Q4 2018, the Harmonised Business Confidence Index (HBCI) of Spain decreased by 1.1% year-on-year to stand at 133.9 points, recording its biggest drop since 2013.

The percentage of businessmen that are more pessimistic increases to 16.1%, while the optimists fall for the second consecutive quarter and are down to 19%.

Harmonised Business Condidence Index (HBCI)

Business activity

In August (the latest data available), the Industrial New Orders Received Index showed a year-on-year increase of 7.5%, with the energy sector (+36.4%) and capital goods (+13.6%) in the lead. Likewise, indicators of the services sector activity experienced a year-on-year increase of 7.6%, especially in the trade sector (+ 9.4%).

Industrial new orders Received Index

Competitiveness (WEF)

After the new change in the methodology of the WEF competitiveness ranking, Spain is ranked 26th (out of 140 countries), dropping by one position with respect to 2017 *.

Of the 12 pillars analysed, Spain commands a leading position in health (1st) and infrastructure (10th), while it obtains its worst position in the labour market (68th).

* Based on the new methodology

Spain in the competitiveness ranking (WEF)

Interest rate

In August, the average interest rate on new loans for small and medium-sized enterprises* stood at 2.05%, on par with the Eurozone, but it increased by 5bp compared with July.

This trend is also observed in the interest rate on housing loans and household consumption, which increased to 2% and 7.3%, respectively (1.8% and 5.8% on average in the Eurozone).

* Access to finance of up to 1 million euros

interest rate housing and household comsumption

World trade in goods

Since 1995, the weight of emerging markets in world trade in goods has increased 2.5- fold, from 8% to 20% in 2016.

At the same time, currently, its weight in world GDP represents 58.7%, 16.6pp higher than in 1995.

In turn, the aggregate participation by regions of emerging markets in world trade of goods exceeds 50% of the world total.

Total goods trade by regions

Global business dynamism

In 1950, 77% of the world’s leading companies in each of the industries worldwide continued to remain in the vanguard for the following five years. However, currently, its proportion has been reduced to 44%.

Between 2012 and 2017, the companies with the highest growth in their revenue in the last five years, by region, are in China (54%) and North America (28%).

Companies with highest growth in their renevue 2012-2017

According to Fortune’s Future 501 data, among the 1,000 largest companies in the world, 25% are European, a percentage that plummets to 2% among the Top 50.

Concentration of companies by region

Earnings S&P 500

In Q3 2018, the profits of the S&P 500 companies recorded a year-on-year increase of 19.5% (its highest level since Q1 2011). By sector, the greatest increase was recorded in Energy (+91.9%), followed by the Financial sector (+35.6%) and the Information technology sector (+33%).

This progress emerges from an environment of increasing volatility of the S&P 500 that is explained mainly by the increase in the US 10-year treasury bond yield, the downward revision of the growth forecasts in Europe and China, and the consequences of the US
trade policy.

S&P 500 and 10 years Treasury yield


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