Structural analysis

From this page you can access thematically grouped Analytical Articles published in the Economic Bulletin from 1999, ordered by date of dissemination within each year.

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  • 19/12/2019
    Survey of household finances (EFF) 2017: methods, results and changes since 2014 (718 KB)

    This article presents the main results of the Survey of Household Finances 2017, which reflects the financial position of Spanish households at end-2017. It also describes the key changes to the  income, assets, debt and spending of Spanish households compared with the last edition of the survey, referring to 2014.

  • 18/11/2019
    The household saving rate in Spain between 2007 and 2016: decomposition by population group and possible determinants (557 KB) Brindusa Anghel, Cristina Barceló and Ernesto Villanueva

    The article quantifies the contributions made by different household groups to the change in the aggregate household saving rate in Spain between 2007 and 2016. Against the backdrop of the last crisis – heightened uncertainty and significant labour market deterioration – the findings show that certain household groups reduced their expenditure over the course of the downturn and then increased it again at the start of the recovery phase. Both these patterns are consistent with the hypothesis of precautionary saving. In particular, between 2007 and 2013, university-educated households and households with lower secondary education at most made a similar contribution to the increase in the saving rate, although the group with the lowest level of education, who are usually poorer, made a relatively higher contribution to the fall in the saving rate in 2013 to 2016. By year of birth, the group aged under 45 in 2007 made the largest contribution to the increase in the saving rate during the downturn. When households are grouped by the tenure status of their main residence, it was observed that homeowners with housing debt outstanding made a particularly high contribution to the increase in the saving rate in 2007 to 2013.

  • 17/10/2019
    Tariff protectionist measures and Spanish goods exports (616 KB) Eduardo Gutiérrez Chacón and César Martín Machuca

    The rise in global protectionist tensions in recent years has, after decades of across-the-board declines, entailed increases in tariffs that are proving detrimental to international trade and thereby affecting the Spanish economy’s external sector outlook. This article estimates the effect of tariffs on Spanish non-energy, non-EU goods exports drawing on data broken down by country of destination and type of product. The results show that an increase in tariffs adversely impacts both export possibilities and, persistently, export values. On the estimates made, a 1% increase in import tariffs imposed by another country on a Spanish product entails a reduction in nominal exports of around 0.6%. Protectionist risks underscore the role of the EU in promoting international trade agreements, such as those recently entered into with Japan, Canada and Mercosur.

  • 18/09/2019
    The relationship between average annual and quarter-on-quarter GDP growth rates: implications for projections and macroeconomic analysis (296 KB) José González Mínguez and Carmen Martínez Carrascal

    The average annual growth rate of GDP can be formulated algebraically as a weighted average of the quarter-on-quarter growth rates of the preceding and the current year. Sometimes this can give rise to counterintuitive results and misinterpretations of how the economy is evolving. For example, a given sequence of GDP growth rates, in quarter-on-quarter terms, in the current year, may give rise to very different average annual rates depending on the trajectory of GDP in the preceding year. Also, with given quarter-on-quarter growth figures for the four quarters of a particular year, average GDP growth will be higher, the earlier in the year that the largest quarter-on-quarter increases occur.
    In the context of macroeconomic projections, analysis tends to focus on average annual GDP growth rates, insofar as they offer a summarised version of the outlook. However, it should be noted that revisions to the current year’s projections with a particular sign (for example, upwards) may reflect changes of two types: first, the publication of new, more favourable National Accounts data for past quarters; and second, a downward revision to growth prospects for the remaining quarters of the year. Therefore, it would be a mistake to conclude from the mere observation of an upward revision to average annual growth that the economic outlook has improved.

  • 11/09/2019
    Banco de España macroeconomic projections: comparison with an econometric model (221 KB) Gergely Ganics and Eva Ortega

    The forecasting of macroeconomic variables is an important task of the Banco de España for the satisfactory monitoring of the economic situation. Macroeconomic projections are made by combining various econometric models with expert judgement. This article compares the Spanish GDP growth and inflation projections published by the Banco de España with those that would be obtained automatically from an alternative econometric model. This exercise reveals that the Banco de España’s projections surpass those of the econometric model in terms of how closely they coincide with the variables predicted (GDP and inflation), i.e. they have smaller prediction forecasting errors. This confirms that the information provided by expert opinion improves the accuracy of projections, above all in short time horizons and, in particular, in predictions of GDP growth. It is also found that, in the past decade, the accurate prediction of inflation has been considerably more difficult than that of GDP growth.

  • 01/08/2019
    Recent developments in the rental housing market in Spain (581 KB) David López-Rodríguez and María de los Llanos Matea

    The proportion of the population living in rental housing in Spain is low compared with the main EU economies. However, in recent years there has been a perceptible rising trend in the relative weight of rental housing in the Spanish residential market. The most significant and dynamic aspects of this development are concentrated in specific groups (essentially young households, immigrants and temporary workers) and specific areas (above all in Madrid, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands). One key factor behind the rise in the demand – especially among young households – for residential rentals is the difficulties lower-income groups face in raising their income. This is due to still-high unemployment, the scant duration of new employment contracts and the greater significance of shorter contract hours. The reduction in the average loan-to-value ratios of new mortgages, the concentration of economic activity in geographical areas with a rigid supply of residential housing and the tax arrangements associated with housing are other factors that have contributed to a notable increase in demand in the market for residential rentals in Spain. The rise in demand concentrated in specific markets set against a relatively rigid supply of residential rentals in the short term would explain the dynamism of rental prices in these locations. Such robust demand in specific markets has been countered only in part by the increase in private supply following the entry of new professionalised agents in the rental market. Encouraging these new entrants will have been the increase in the gross return on residential rentals in the 2014-2017 period. The diminished buoyancy of supply has come about against the background of the weak public supply of rentals, marked by the emergence of alternative sources for residential housing such as the holiday rental. For a fuller analysis of the residential rental market in Spain, greater socio-demographic and economic information would be needed – including rental prices – at the municipal level or with the greatest geographical breakdown possible.

  • 11/04/2019
    Recent housing market developments in Spain (1 MB) Pana Alves and Alberto Urtasun

    After the sharp correction during the crisis, activity in the Spanish real estate sector commenced its recovery in early 2014. This improving trend has since been observable both in quantity and price-based indicators. However, this market is well known for its high heterogeneity due to the location of the properties, their type and the nationality of purchasers. The recent buoyancy seems to reflect, among other factors, positive labour market developments and the low cost of borrowing against a backdrop of gradual growth of loans for house purchase.

  • 12/02/2019
    The loan to value ratio for housing in Spain over the period 2004-2016 (601 KB) Olympia Bover, María Torrado and Ernesto Villanueva

    The ratio between the amount of mortgage loans and the value of housing (the loan to value ratio) is a useful indicator for studying the financial situation of households. Two main price indicators are used to measure loan to value ratios for housing in Spain at the time of purchase: the transaction price recorded at the Property Registry and the appraisal value. Having generated a sample in which both price indicators refer to the same set of housing, the median loan to value ratio between 2004 and 2007 is found to stand between 70%, when the appraisal value is used, and 107%, when the transaction price is used. The difference between these two ratios narrowed from 2010, with the loan to value ratio using the appraisal value remaining at around 70%, while the ratio based on the transaction value fell to 80%. The Spanish Survey of Household Finances (EFF), conducted by the Banco de España, is an alternative data source, allowing a loan to value ratio to be obtained directly from households’ responses. This ratio, based on EFF data, has evolved in a similar way to the one derived from the transaction prices recorded at the Property Registry.

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