In its fifth edition, the Barometer of the Círculos, restates its commitment to Spanish society, by seeking out solutions that are aimed at rectifying the socio-economic imbalances that persist in our country. In order to achieve a more global and structured vision, the three institutions promoting the Barometer of the Círculos, Círculo de Empresarios, the Círculo de Economía and the Círculo de Empresarios Vascos, have benefited from the collaboration of the Institución Futuro de Navarra, the Asociación Valenciana de Empresarios, the Círculo de Empresarios de Galicia, the Círculo Empresarial Leonés, the Círculo de Economía de Mallorca, the Observatorio Económico de Andalucía and the Fundación Conexus.

The 2018 Barometer analyses the structural situation of the Spanish economy, focusing on identifying the main competitive, economic and business strengths and weaknesses that are impacted by the social, technological and geopolitical transformations taking place worldwide. This analysis is complemented by a study of the position that our country occupies within the main international indicators of competitiveness and in the Social Progress Index (Social Progress Imperative), in order to understand the degree of cohesion and social well-being in Spain in comparison with the main advanced economies. In order to support this study, this edition has once again incorporated a survey to gather together the opinions of a sample that is representative of the Spanish business structure in terms of both geography and sector, including small and medium-sized enterprises as well as major national and multinational corporations that operate in Spain.

Based on the conclusions obtained from the Barometer of the Círculos, a series of recommendations are presented regarding the areas of the economic and business context in which both the public administration and the companies themselves should act. In order to achieve this, the good practices of countries as well as companies within Spain in terms of youth employment, dual vocational training, intra-entrepreneurship, volition to grow and work-life balance are taken as a benchmark.

The recommendations of the 2018 Barometer show that, following five years without structural reforms, Spain must begin a period of cohesion and the formation of pacts. This will have two aims: to resolve the major issues that persist, such as high rates of unemployment and indebtedness, and to increase the degree of internationalisation of our country. It is therefore urgent that a long-term strategy be designed to provide the Spanish economy with greater competitiveness, resilience and prominence on the world stage.

As in previous editions, those of us in the Círculos hope that the 2018 Barometer will foster necessary debate between the public administration, social stakeholders and civil society regarding how we may achieve more inclusive, sustainable growth that guarantees the future of our welfare state and a proper intergenerational balance.

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