• It is the first positive inter-quarterly 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 National Quarterly Accounting (CNTR), published by the INE, the GDP in volume, corrected for calendar and seasonality, recorded in the third quarter a quarterly growth of 0.1%, 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 zone, quarter-on-quarter growth was also 0.1%.

Net external demand prolonged its positive evolution, with a contribution of 1.4 percentage points at the annual rate of GDP, although lower by seven tenths than that of the second quarter. On the contrary, 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 the year-on-year growth of the product was the result 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 inter-quarterly 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 2.8% (5.2 % in the previous quarter). Imports were driven by the favorable evolution of purchases of goods (5.6%), which more than offset the sharp decrease in services (-7%).

Among the components of the national demand, the rebound in household final consumption expenditure in the July-September period (0.4% quarter-on-quarter) after five quarters of consecutive falls (-0.1% in the second) stands out. Gross fixed capital formation, on the other hand, experienced an advance of 0.2%, following the declines of the previous three quarters (-2% in the second). This investment recovery was due to that of capital goods (1.1%), which grew for the third consecutive quarter, as well as investment in intangible fixed assets, which grew 4.2% after the decline of 4, 6% of the previous quarter. However, construction investment registered a negative quarterly rate (-1%), although 3.7 points higher than in the second quarter. Finally, the inter-quarterly rate of consumption of Public Administrations stood at 0.1%, one point above that of the previous quarter.

On the supply side, the GVA (gross added value) of the main branches of activity increased in inter-quarterly terms, except for that of the agricultural 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 fall of 1.5%, 1.9 points less intense than the second quarter.

With respect to the nominal variables, the annual rate of the GDP deflator reached 0.4%, three tenths less than that registered in the previous quarter. This reduction in the rate was due to the slowdown in the consumption deflator, which grew 0.9%, two tenths less than in the previous quarter. It also influenced the fall of the deflator of gross fixed capital formation (-3.4%) and exports (-1.3%). That of imports, on the other hand, increased the rate of decline by two tenths, to 2.3%.

Full-time equivalent employment stabilized in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter, ending more than five years of consecutive falls. However, in year-on-year terms it continued registering negative rates, -3.2%, although more moderate than the second quarter (-3.9%). As a result of the evolution of GDP and employment, productivity per employee slowed down three tenths at an annual rate, up to 2.1%. Salary compensation grew 0.1%, so unit labor costs decreased 1.9%, six tenths less than the previous quarter.

The Spanish economy presented a capacity of financing in front of the outside of 5.758 million euros in the third quarter, superior in almost 3,000 million euros to the one of a year before. As a percentage of GDP, this implies 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 no employment has been destroyed in terms of national accounting, and the improvement in external accounts continues. On these more solid bases, we hope to initiate a process of sustained economic growth for which it is necessary to continue with fiscal consolidation and structural reforms.

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