• The annual growth rate doubles that of the euro zone average in the third quarter of the year
  • External demand improves its contribution because exports grow more than imports
  • The creation of jobs increases 2.9% and remains positive for ten consecutive quarters

The Spanish economy maintains high growth and a strong rate of job creation, according to the National Accounts data for the third quarter of the year, published by the INE. The inter-quarterly rate stands at 0.7% and that of the last twelve months at 3.2%, which means doubling the average of the euro zone countries. So far this year, the average growth is 3.3%, which ensures the comfortable fulfillment of the objective for the year as a whole. The contribution of internal and external demand becomes more balanced thanks to higher export growth than imports. Job creation stands at 2.9% compared to a year ago, one tenth more than the previous quarter, which translates into 499,000 new full-time equivalent jobs.

In the third quarter of this year, twelve quarters of growth of the Spanish economy and eleven of employment growth are met. Since the end of the recession at the end of 2013 until today, the Spanish economy has accelerated growth to reach rates of around 3%, as has happened with the pace of job creation. These results reflect that the recovery of the Spanish economy is consolidated and allows to ensure that in the second quarter of next year the levels of income prior to the crisis will have recovered and that progress is being made towards the objective of reaching 20 million employed.

The annual growth rate achieved in the third quarter is two tenths lower than the previous quarter due to a lower contribution from national demand (2.6 percentage points, three tenths less than in the previous quarter). External demand, on the other hand, contributes six tenths to GDP growth, one more than in the previous quarter. This is the second positive contribution followed by external demand, after three quarters in negative.

Within national demand, household consumption grows 2.8%, four tenths less than the previous quarter. Investment, meanwhile, increased 3.1%, half a point less. It is in any case high rates and that maintain the national demand as an engine of the economy, although more compensated by the foreign sector. Within this, exports grow 2.8%, at a faster rate than imports, which increase 0.9%.

Full-time equivalent employment accelerates one tenth in the third quarter, both in interannual and inter-quarterly terms, recording rates of 2.9% and 0.8%, respectively. In the quarter, 136.1 thousand equivalent jobs are created and almost half a million in the last twelve months. The total hours worked increased 2.5% in the third quarter of the year with respect to the same period of 2015, as in the previous quarter, and the number of hours per employee decreased 0.4% year-on-year, compared to the decrease 0.2% of the previous quarter.

As a consequence of the evolution of GDP and employment, productivity per employee slows down four tenths in the interannual rate, up to 0.2%. The salary per employee increases 0.1% with respect to the third quarter of 2015, two tenths less than in the second quarter, so that unit labor costs are reduced by 0.1% year-on-year, compared with the decrease of 0.3 % of the previous quarter.

Regarding the primary distribution of income, the deceleration of nominal GDP is due to the evolution of gross operating surplus / mixed income, which grows 3.5% year-on-year, compared to the 4.8% increase in the second quarter, while Salary compensation increases 3.3%, as in the previous quarter, and net taxes on subsidies on production and imports accelerated by two points, up to 4.5%.

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