- It is the first positive quarter-on-quarter rate after nine consecutive quarters of falls
- Consumption and investment return to positive rates, of 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively
- Full-time equivalent employment stabilizes for the first time in five years
According to the results of the Quarterly National Accounts (CNTR), published by the INE, the GDP in volume, adjusted for calendar and seasonality, registered a quarterly growth of 0.1% in the third quarter, the first positive rate after nine quarters of consecutive falls. In year-on-year terms, GDP decreased by -1.1%, half a point less than in the previous quarter. In the euro area, quarter-on-quarter growth was also 0.1%.
Net external demand continued its positive evolution, with a contribution of 1.4 percentage points to the year-on-year rate of GDP, although seven tenths lower than that of the second quarter. In contrast, national demand subtracted 2.5 points from growth, 1.2 points less than in the previous quarter.
The lower contribution of net external demand to year-on-year growth in output was the consequence of a slowdown in exports. These increased 4.7% year-on-year, almost four and a half points less than in the second quarter. Meanwhile, imports advanced 0.7%, 1.8 points less than in the April-June period.
Also in quarter-on-quarter terms, exports and imports showed less dynamism. The former increased by 2.2% (2.6% for goods and 1.2% for services), 4.2 points less than in the second quarter, and the latter increased by 2.8% (5.2 % in the previous quarter). Imports were boosted by the favorable evolution of purchases of goods (5.6%), which more than offset the sharp decline in services (-7%).
Among the components of national demand, the upturn in household final consumption spending in the July-September period stands out (0.4% quarter-on-quarter) after five quarters of consecutive falls (-0.1% in the second). Gross fixed capital formation, for its part, experienced an increase of 0.2%, after decreases in the previous three quarters (-2% in the second). This recovery in investment was due to capital goods (1.1%), which grew for the third consecutive quarter, as well as investment in intangible fixed assets, which grew by 4.2% after the decline of 4, 6% from the previous quarter. However, construction investment registered a negative quarterly rate (-1%), although 3.7 points higher than in the second quarter. Finally, the quarter-on-quarter rate of consumption by Public Administrations stood at 0.1%, one point above that of the previous quarter.
On the supply side, the GVA (gross value added) of the main branches of activity increased in quarter-on-quarter terms, except for the agrarian branch which decreased by 1% (+ 0.4% in the second quarter). Industry and services accelerated three and five tenths, respectively, to record rates of 0.8% and 0.5%. Construction registered a quarterly drop of 1.5%, 1.9 points less intense than that of the second quarter.
Regarding nominal variables, the annual rate of the GDP deflator reached 0.4%, three tenths less than that registered the previous quarter. This reduction in the rate was due to the slowdown in the consumption deflator, which grew by 0.9%, two tenths less than in the previous quarter. The fall in the deflator of gross fixed capital formation (-3.4%) and exports (-1.3%) also influenced. On the other hand, imports increased the rate of decline by two tenths, to 2.3%.
Full-time equivalent employment stabilized in the third quarter from the previous quarter, thus ending more than five years of consecutive declines. However, in year-on-year terms, it continued registering negative rates, -3.2%, although more moderate than that of the second quarter (-3.9%). As a consequence of the evolution of GDP and employment, productivity per employed person decelerated three tenths in the annual rate, to 2.1%. Compensation per employee grew 0.1%, so unit labor costs decreased 1.9%, six tenths less than the previous quarter.
The Spanish economy had a financing capacity compared to abroad of 5,758 million euros in the third quarter, almost 3,000 million higher than a year earlier. As a percentage of GDP, this represents a financing capacity of 2.3%, more than double that of the third quarter of 2012 (1.1%).
In the third quarter of 2013 the Spanish economy has technically emerged from the recession thanks to the fact that consumption and investment have registered positive growth rates. In this period, employment has not been destroyed in terms of national accounting, and the improvement in external accounts continues. On these more solid bases, we hope to start a process of sustained economic growth, for which it is necessary to continue with fiscal consolidation and structural reforms.