Spain: reduction in consumption threatens economic recovery

"In the coming weeks, we expect that spending on domestic and foreign tourism, still at very low levels, will gradually improve, always assuming that the Covid-19 outbreaks that emerged in some parts of Spanish geography will be brought under control quickly," pointed out Javier Ibáñez de Aldecoa, economist at CaixaBank Research

Barcelona, ​​Spain | Quique Garcia / EFE

The latest consumption data published by Spanish banks show a small paralysis in consumption caused by the growth in the number of infected, but also by the reduced number of tourists, said the Economist, this Friday, August 7.

Since the end of May, June and part of July, consumption has regained lost ground at an accelerated rate, so this curb in consumption has taken the Government by surprise.

Javier Ibáñez de Aldecoa, an economist at CaixaBank Research, tracks consumer spending on cards with private data from the Catalan bank and said, in a press release, that “total expenses with Spanish and foreign cards at point of sale terminals ( POS) and ATMs decreased 17% year on year in the last week of July (from July 27 to August 2), 4 percentage points more than in the previous week “.

“These figures seem to indicate that consumption is at an impasse due to the uncertainty generated by the most recent evolution of the pandemic. In the coming weeks, we expect that spending on domestic and foreign tourism, still at very low levels, will improve little by little, always assuming that the Covid-19 outbreaks that emerged in some parts of Spanish geography will be brought under control quickly, ”he says. the CaixaBank specialist.

In turn, data from BBVA Research, from the week of July 20 to 26, show that the restrictions caused by the covid-19 outbreaks have moderated the recovery in consumption in some of the affected provinces. The increase in face-to-face expenses was contained in Huesca (-7 points to 9%), Zaragoza (-6 points to 4%), Gipuzkoa (-6 points to 0%), Barcelona (-4 points to -5%), Murcia (-3 points to 9%) and Navarre (-3 points to 13%).

In addition to the low level of expenditure, BBVA Research also noted that the recovery of purchases with foreign cards has stopped in the provinces bordering France, except in Navarra. The reduction in tourist demand in urban destinations affected by the outbreak of covid-19, such as Zaragoza and Barcelona, ​​also accelerated last week.

On Wednesday, the Spanish Ministry of Health released 1772 more cases of the new coronavirus in 24 hours, 65% of which in the communities of Aragon and Madrid, according to the Lusa agency. This figure increases the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 305.767 infected.

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