Economic situation

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.

All documents are available in PDF format PDF File. Opens in a new window

  • 30/11/2017
    Results of non-financial corporations in 2016 and in the first three quarters of 2017 (705 KB) Álvaro Menéndez y Maristela Mulino

    According to the CBA and CBQ surveys, non-financial corporations as a whole continued to create employment in 2016 and in the first nine months of 2017, as did most sectors and most of the firms individually. As regards business activity, the main surpluses grew significantly in 2016, resulting in an increase in aggregate ordinary net profit. The favourable behaviour of extraordinary costs and revenues also contributed to the increase in net profit. By contrast, in the first three quarters of 2017, gross value added and ordinary net profit continued to grow, but at more moderate rates than in the previous year, owing to the adverse effects of the behaviour of some large firms with a high weight in the quarterly sample, which led to a slight decrease in aggregate profitability. Also, during the first nine months of this year, non-recurring items had a negative impact, leading to a sharp contraction in net profit. Lastly, average debt ratios continued to decline in 2016, while in the first three quarters of 2017 they rose slightly. Driven by the lower cost of borrowing, the debt burden declined in both periods. The article includes two boxes, the first of which analyses the performance of SMEs relative to larger firms in 2016, and the second the results and financial position of Spanish consolidated groups in 2016.

  • 10/10/2017
    A short-term forecasting model for GDP and its demand components (648 KB) Ana Arencibia Pareja, Ana Gómez Loscos, Mercedes de Luis López and Gabriel Pérez Quirós

    This article summarises the key aspects of the extended and revised version of Spain-STING (Spain, Short-Term INdicator of Growth), which is a tool used by the Banco de España for short-term forecasting of the Spanish economy’s GDP and its demand components. Drawing on a broad set of indicators, several models are estimated that enable GDP, private consumption, public expenditure, investment in capital goods, construction investment, exports and imports to be forecast. The assessment of the new model’s predictive power for the period spanning June 2005-September 2016 shows a slight improvement on the previous version of Spain-STING.

  • 21/09/2017
    Results of non-financial corporations for 2017 Q1-Q2 (722 KB) Luis Ángel Maza, Álvaro Menéndez and Maristela Mulino

    According to the data from the Banco de España’s Central Balance Sheet Data Office, employment continued to grow in non-financial firms in 2017 H1, at rates exceeding those of the previous year. The gross value added generated by these firms declined somewhat in the same period, highly conditioned by the unfavourable performance of a number of large firms which account for a substantial share of the sample. However, the favourable progress of financial costs and revenue led to a slight increase in ordinary profits, but this was not sufficient to prevent a moderate fall in the aggregate return ratios, although median returns increased in the period. Extraordinary costs and revenue also had a negative impact, as a result of which net profit contracted with respect to the level reached in the same period the preceding the year. Lastly, the variations in the financial position ratios of firms were negligible. This article describes these developments and also analyses, in a separate section, the strong growth of intra-group financing in large Spanish corporate groups since 2005, in a setting in which the organisational structure of these conglomerates has become increasingly complex.


  • 01/08/2017
    The oil market: recent developments and outlook (572 KB) Daniel Santabárbara

    The past three years have seen a radical change in the structure of the oil market, as a result of the deep-seated transformation the US oil industry has undergone and of OPEC’s strategic
    reaction. This has translated into a substantial reduction in the price of oil. Specifically, this article analyses three key factors behind oil market developments in the past two years: the resilience of US shale oil production, the new turn in OPEC’S strategy to cut output and the slowdown in demand. Further, the medium and long-term outlook for this market is discussed, with the conclusion drawn that a marked rise in prices owing to the foreseeable course of supply and demand is not expected. While some fall-off in supply is contemplated owing to the decline in investment, demand, too, will be contained by greater efficiency in the use of oil-derived fuels and social awareness about their negative externalities.

  • 25/07/2017
    Private-sector economic developments in the euro area in 2016 (719 KB) Ana del Río and José Antonio Cuenca

    This article describes the economic situation of the non-financial private sector in the euro area during 2016, on the basis of sectoral accounts. In the case of households, employment creation and low inflation provided for an increase in purchasing power which, along with the rise in wealth, was reflected in the strength of consumption, against a background in which the increase in nominal wages continue to be modest. The pace of economic recovery enabled firms to improve their profits and investment, although the investment drive was still moderate, while the sector continued to evidence a net lending capacity. The greater dynamism of lending both for households and firms was compatible with further increases in the ongoing correction of indebtedness, though such increases were uneven from one country to another. In the case of large corporations, the shift in the liabilities mix towards financing based on fixed-income securities continued, driven in 2016 by the Eurosystem’s monetary policy measures.

  • 22/06/2017
    Results of non-financial corporations in 2017 Q1 (749 KB) Álvaro Menéndez and Maristela Mulino

    The productive activity of the overall sample of firms reporting to the Central Balance Sheet Data Office Quarterly Survey saw a moderate expansion in 2017 Q1, similar to that recorded a year earlier. This recovery was greatly affected by the poor performance of some larger firms, which account for a large share of the sample, thus dampening the expansionary trend observed in most firms. Employment also continued to grow in the majority of firms. The notable increase in ordinary profits was driven by the favourable progress of financial costs and revenues, leading to a further increase in aggregate levels of ordinary profitability.
    However, extraordinary costs and revenues had a negative impact in this quarter, as a result of which net profit contracted with respect to the level reached in the same period the preceding year. The box included at the end of this article shows that the improved profitability of recent years can be observed across all the percentiles of the distribution, although it was higher in those reflecting the situation of less profitable firms, and therefore the dispersion of this variable in the sample has gradually been reduced. In addition, in 2017 Q1 these values had already returned to the levels achieved before the crisis.

  • 20/06/2017
    The recovery of private consumption in Spain by product type and household (644 KB) Marta Martínez Matute and Alberto Urtasun

    This article describes the behaviour of household spending during the period 2005-2015 based on information from the Household Expenditure Survey. The recent recovery in consumption was broad-based, but breaking down the data in terms of households’ characteristics, the recovery was stronger in those in which the main breadwinner was in work than in those in which he or she was not. By product type, spending on consumer durables, which had shrunk most during the crisis, grew strongest over the two-year period from 2014 to 2015. Despite the strong upturn in consumption in the most recent years of the period considered, in general, median levels of expenditure per household have not yet recovered pre-crisis levels.

  • 18/05/2017
    Economic and financial performance of Spanish non-financial corporations during the economic crisis and the first years of recovery. A comparative analysis with the euro area (670 KB) Álvaro Menéndez, Anna Gorris and Daniel Dejuán

    This article reports evidence based on firm-level information of the marked deterioration in the economic and financial situation of Spanish companies between 2008 and 2012, which was comparatively sharper in SMEs and in certain sectors such as construction and real estate, and higher than that in other euro area economies.
    However, from 2013 this trend began to reverse and the recovery in activity, stronger on average than in other euro area economies, and the subsequent performance of Spanish firms allowed the previous differences with respect to other euro area countries to diminish.

  • 11/05/2017
    The effect of oil price fluctuations on Spanish inflation (869 KB) Luis Julián Álvarez, Isabel Sánchez and Alberto Urtasun

    This article analyses the impact of changes in oil prices on the consumer price index (CPI) in the Spanish economy from a historical perspective. The evidence provided reveals a substantial degree of pass-through of these changes to CPI components tied to heating and vehicle fuel (direct effect). However, the estimated effect of changes in crude prices on firms’ input costs (indirect effects) and on inflation or wage expectations (second-round effects) is, on average, moderate.
    Consequently, in the current situation, in the absence of fresh shocks in the expected path of oil prices, the rise in the CPI in early 2017 – linked to base effects prompted by the low price of this commodity for most of 2016 – can be expected to be essentially temporary and, therefore, consistent with a downward trajectory in inflation in the coming months.

  • 27/04/2017
    The Balance of Payments and International Investment Position of Spain in 2016 (724 KB) Noelia Jiménez and César Martín

    According to the balance of payments (BoP) statistics, in 2016 the Spanish economy once again became a net lender. The increase in the current account balance mainly reflected the decline in the trade deficit, driven by the decrease in the energy bill and the increase in the services balance surplus.
    The Spanish economy’s net debtor international investment position (IIP), in GDP terms, decreased in 2016 for the second consecutive year, since the nation’s net lending and the growth of GDP counteracted the slight negative impact of valuation effects and other adjustments on this indicator.

  • 22/03/2017
    Results of non-financial corporations: summary 2016 year-end data (697 KB) Álvaro Menéndez and Maristela Mulino

    Most sectors and companies in the Central Balance Sheet Data Office Quarterly Survey saw an expansion in productive activity and employment in 2016. Buoyant activity, coupled with favourable trends in financial costs and revenues, enabled companies’ ordinary profits to grow rapidly. This meant a further increase in aggregate levels of ordinary profits.
    Lastly, companies’ financial position continued to strengthen, translating into a drop in indebtedness and debt burden ratios.

  • 16/03/2017
    Situation of and outlook for the world economy at the start of 2017 (1 MB)

    Global growth in 2016 disappointed analysts once again. Moreover, three far-reaching events
    occurred which, nevertheless, did not have an immediate major impact. At the start of the year, the Chinese financial markets experienced turbulence relating to the challenges the Chinese authorities face in implementing their structural reform programme. In June, the United Kingdom voted in favour of leaving the European Union, which means the loss of an influential partner in the process of European construction.
    Lastly, in November, the Republican candidate Donald Trump won the US presidential elections. This might entail a change in macroeconomic policies and check the process of globalisation. These events reveal a global economic setting shrouded in great uncertainty for the future.

  • 02/02/2017
    Macroeconomic uncertainty: measurement and impact on the Spanish economy (982 KB) María Gil, Javier J. Pérez and Alberto Urtasun

    This article characterises the level of uncertainty in the Spanish economy. Various indicators are analysed, distinguishing their source: financial market volatility, degree of disagreement between agents on the economic situation and economic policy uncertainty. Aggregate uncertainty in the Spanish economy increased in 2016, although it remained at levels below the average for the 2008-2013 recession. The changes in uncertainty captured by financial indicators are shown to have a higher impact on economic activity, and particularly on investment. Finally, it is illustrated how a significant part of the macroeconomic effect of the heightened uncertainty in the past year originated outside the Spanish economy.

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