• The ITC calculated with the unit value of exports also records competitiveness gains for the whole of 2011 compared to the OECD, the euro area and the EU

The external competitiveness of the Spanish economy improved in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the euro area, the EU and the OECD. Taking as a reference the Consumer Price Indices (CPIs), the Competitiveness Trend Index of Spain (ITC) registered falls(one) in the first three months of the year. Calculated with the unit value of exports (IVUs)(two), the ITC also registered competitiveness gains for the whole of 2011 against the OECD, the euro zone and the EU.

ITC calculated with IPCs: First quarter of 2012

  • Against the European Union

First quarter of 2012

Compared to the countries of the euro area (EMU-17), the ITC calculated with IPCs fell by seven tenths in the interannual rate, given that Spanish inflation stood at levels lower than that of the countries with which we share currency.

Likewise, the ITC against the countries of the EU-27 registered a decrease of eight tenths with respect to the values ​​of the first quarter of 2011. This result was produced by the 0.8% drop in the relative consumer price index, while the exchange rate index was stable.

Against the EU-27, not EMU (ie EU countries that have not adopted the euro as their currency), the ITC decreased by 1.4% year-on-year. This gain in competitiveness was due to the 1.5% decline in the relative price index, partially offset by the 0.1% increase experienced by the exchange rate index.

  • Facing the OECD

First quarter of 2012

In the first quarter of 2012, the ITC against the OECD countries fell 1.2% compared to the levels of the same quarter of the previous year. This result was a consequence of the 0.3% decrease in the exchange rate index and 0.9% in the relative consumer price index.

Compared to OECD countries that do not belong to the euro zone (OECD no EMU-17), the ITC fell 2.3% in the interannual rate. The exchange rate index registered a decrease of 1%, while the relative price index decreased 1.4% in interannual terms.

ITC calculated with IVUs: fourth quarter of 2011

  • Against the European Union

Fourth quarter of 2011

In the fourth quarter of 2011, there was a 0.8% increase in the ITC in year-on-year terms against the euro area (EMU-17).

The ITC against the EU-27 countries increased by 0.6% as a result of the 0.3% rise in the relative export price index and 0.3% in the exchange rate index.

Compared to non-euro area EU countries (EU-27 non-EMU), ITC decreased 0.7% compared to the values ​​of the fourth quarter of 2010. The relative price index fell 2.1 %, which contrasted with the 1.5% year-on-year increase in the exchange rate index.

January-December 2011

In the whole of the first twelve months of 2011, the ITC against the euro area (EMU-17) registered a drop of 0.3% compared to the values ​​of the same period in 2010.

ITC vis-à-vis the EU-27 countries decreased by 0.5%. This gain in competitiveness was the result of a 0.6% decrease in the relative export price index, partially offset by a 0.1% increase in the exchange rate index.

The ITC against non-euro zone EU countries (EU-27 not EMU) showed a year-on-year drop of 1.4%, with a 1.9% decrease in the relative price index and growth of 0.5% in the exchange rate index.

  • Facing the OECD

Fourth quarter of 2011

In the fourth quarter of 2011, ITC compared to OECD countries increased 1% year-on-year. This fall in competitiveness was caused by the 0.4% rise in the relative export price index, which supported the loss of competitiveness due to the 0.6% advance in the exchange rate index.

Compared to OECD countries that do not belong to the euro zone (OECD no EMU-17), ITC grew by 1.5%. The relative price index decreased 0.5%, which contrasted with the 2% increase in the exchange rate index.

January- December 2011

In the period January-December 2011, the ITC compared to the OECD countries decreased 0.5% in the interannual rate. This gain in competitiveness was due to the 0.8% drop in the relative export price index, partially offset by the 0.4% increase in the exchange rate index.

Finally, compared to the OECD countries that do not belong to the euro zone (OECD no EMU-17), the ITC decreased by 0.8%. The relative price index showed a drop of 2.1% year-on-year, while the exchange rate index grew 1.3%.

The Competitiveness Trend Index, published quarterly, allows us to analyze the competitiveness of the Spanish foreign sector by comparing the evolution of Spanish prices with that of the prices of other countries with which we have business relationships. The two published indicators are differentiated by the price indices that they take as a reference: one of them uses the unit value indices (IVUs) of exports as a reference, while the other compares the consumer price indices (IPCs).

The publication of IVUs data on exports generally lags behind that of the IPCs. For this reason, this note contains information on ITCs calculated with IVUs corresponding to the fourth quarter and the full year of 2011 and information on ITCs calculated with inflation for the first quarter of 2012.

(one) A decrease in ITC implies a gain in Spanish competitiveness compared to the group of countries with respect to which the index is made and vice versa.

(two) The publication of data on IVUs of exports presents, in general, a greater delay than that of IPCs. For this reason, this press release contains information on ITCs calculated with IVUs corresponding to the fourth quarter of 2011.



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