- GDP grows 3.4% in the first quarter in year-on-year terms, almost two points more than the average for the euro area
- The composition of growth is more balanced with a contribution of national demand of 3.8 points
- Job creation accelerates two tenths, to 3.2%, the highest rate since the second quarter of 2007
The Spanish economy registered 0.8% quarter-on-quarter growth in the first quarter of 2016, the same as in the previous two quarters and three tenths higher than in the euro area. In year-on-year terms, GDP increased by 3.4%, one tenth less than in the previous quarter and almost two points more than that of the euro area (1.5%). Job creation grew 0.9% in the quarter and 3.2% compared to a year ago, which translates into the creation of 533,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the last twelve months.
The composition of growth is more balanced, with a contribution of national demand to the interannual advance of GDP of 3.8 percentage points, three tenths less than in the previous quarter, and a contribution of net external demand of -0.4 points , two tenths less negative than that of the previous quarter.
In quarter-on-quarter terms, among the components of national demand, the highest rate of growth in household final consumption expenditure stands out, one tenth to 0.9%, while gross fixed capital formation slows seven tenths, recording a rate 0.4%. The slowdown in investment is explained by the lower dynamism of investment in capital goods and in intellectual property products, which have reduced their growth rate by six tenths and one point, respectively, to 1.3% and 0 , 2%, as well as the fall in construction investment (-0.2%), after almost two years of uninterrupted increases (0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2015). For its part, the final consumption expenditure of the Public Administrations increased in the first quarter by 0.8%, four tenths more than in the previous quarter.
The smallest decrease in net external demand The year-on-year growth in GDP is explained by a slowdown in imports that exceeds that of exports. Thus, exports increased by 3.7% compared to the first quarter of 2015, 1.6 points less than in the previous quarter, and imports advanced 5.4% year-on-year, 2.3 points less than in the last quarter from last year.
In quarter-on-quarter terms, exports decreased by 0.5% in the first quarter, after more than two years of continuous increases (0.9% in the fourth quarter of 2015) and imports maintained their steady growth rate at 0 ,3%. In turn, the fall in exports was due to the contraction in services exports, which fell 1.7%, while exports of goods registered a zero variation rate.
From the supply perspective, the Gross Value Added (GVA) of the industry increased 0.7% quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter of the year, four tenths more than in the previous quarter, and the GVA in the services sector accelerated three tenths, up to 0.9%. On the contrary, the GVA of construction went from growing by 1.5% in the last quarter of 2015 to practically stabilizing (-0.1%), and the GVA of agriculture registered a negative rate (-1%), compared to to the 2.7% increase in the previous quarter.
The quarter-on-quarter rate of job creation, in terms of full-time equivalent jobs, increased three tenths in the first quarter, to stand at 0.9%. In year-on-year terms, employment accelerated two tenths, to 3.2%, the highest rate since the second quarter of 2007. This represents a net increase of 533 thousand full-time equivalent jobs in the last twelve months. As a consequence of the evolution of GDP and employment, productivity per employed person moderates the year-on-year growth rate by three tenths, down to 0.2%. For its part, compensation per employee decreased by 0.3%, after the 0.9% increase in the fourth quarter of last year, so that unit labor costs decreased by 0.5%, compared to the increase of 0 , 4% from the previous quarter.
The year-on-year rate of the GDP deflator stood in negative territory (-0.2%) in the first quarter of 2016, after four quarters of consecutive increases. This drop is mainly explained by the decrease in the consumption deflator (-0.7%) and exports (-1.7%).
Nominal GDP slowed more than one point in the first quarter, reaching a year-on-year rate of 3.2%, compared to the 4.3% advance in the previous quarter. Regarding the primary distribution of income, this slowdown is due to the evolution of its three main components. The remuneration of employees increased 3.2% year-on-year, 1.1 points less than in the previous quarter, the gross operating surplus / mixed income slowed down one point, recording growth of 2.5%, and net taxes of subsidies on production and imports moderated the rate of progress by nine tenths, to 6.4%.