Publications

Economic Bulletin

Since 1979, the Banco de España’s Economic Bulletin has gathered together the institution’s economic studies and analyses of the current economic situation.

With effect from the beginning of 2023, the Economic Bulletin has become an online publication, encompassing all the articles of analysis previously published in the series “Analytical Articles” and “Economic Notes”, which have been discontinued, and the Quarterly Report boxes. The last article each quarter is the Quarterly report on the Spanish economy, featuring the macroeconomic projections.

The issues of the Economic Bulletin published between January 1979 and December 1998 are available in the Institutional RepositoryOpens in a new window.

  • 31/01/2023
    2023/Q1 Article 11. January 2023 Bank Lending Survey in Spain (1.010 KB) Álvaro Menéndez Pujadas and Maristela Mulino

    Rationale
    This article summarises the main results of the Bank Lending Survey for 2022 Q4 and the expectations for 2023 Q1. It also analyses matters related to funding market access and the impact of other factors on responding banks’ lending policy.

    Takeaways

    • According to the Bank Lending Survey, in 2022 Q4 credit standards tightened across the board in Spainfor the third consecutive quarter.
    • Loan demand fell in the two household segments (house purchase and consumer credit and otherlending), while demand from enterprises grew slightly, driven by their greater financing needs for workingcapital and inventories.
    • For 2023 Q1, banks once again expect loan supply to contract and loan demand to fall across theboard.
  • 27/01/2023
    2023/Q1 Article 10. Recent developments in financing and bank lending to the non-financial private sector. Second half of 2022 (907 KB) Pana Alves, Javier Delgado, Jaime Garrido, Nadia Lavín and Carlos Pérez Montes

    Rationale


    To analyse, owing to their macroeconomic implications, the conditions and volume of funding raised by households and firms and to quantify the credit risk taken on by deposit institutions via loans to these two sectors.


    Takeaways

    • Financing conditions continued to tighten in the second half of 2022 and the transmission of market rate rises to the cost of lending accelerated. This has led to a decrease in the flow of new funding.
    • The bank loan stock to the resident private sector in 2022 Q3 saw a slight decrease compared with the same quarter in recent years, mainly owing to trends in the stock of loans to business activities. Non-performing and Stage 2 loans continued to decline, except in some portfolios, such as those with ICO-backed loans.
    • Exposures to the energy sector have a limited weight in the bank credit business in Spain, although their quality has worsened throughout 2022 and somewhat tighter credit standards have been observed.
  • 18/01/2023
    2023/Q1 Article 09. Pension expenditure in Spain: a European comparison (1 MB) Miguel Ángel Martín and Roberto Ramos

    Rationale

    There is significant disparity in the pension expenditure-to-GDP ratio across European countries. This article examines the size of the Spanish pension system relative to those of other EU countries and analyses the drivers behind the differences observed.

    Takeaways

    • In 2019, pension expenditure in Spain, relative to the size of its economy, was above the EU’s simple average and similar to the GDP-weighted average.
    • In comparison with the EU in 2019, the ageing process was less advanced in Spain and pension scheme coverage was lower. In contrast, Spain had a lower employment rate and a higher level of benefits relative to the average wage.
    • Demographic projections suggest that pension expenditure in Spain will increase significantly. Slightly more than 40% of this increase could be offset if Spain’s employment rate were to rise to equal that of Germany.
  • 12/01/2023
    2023/Q1 Article 08. The recovery of international tourism in Spain after the pandemic (759 KB) Coral García Esteban, Ana Gómez Loscos and César Martín Machuca

    Rationale

    International tourism indicators in Spain are consolidating their recovery towards pre-pandemic levels, after virtually all restrictions on international travel were lifted. Against this background, the changes observed in tourists’ country of origin and travel behaviour should be analysed.

    Takeaways

    • Tourist flows are yet to fully recover 2019 levels, essentially due to the continued weakness in long-haul tourism, particularly from Asia.
    • However, tourism receipts have already reached pre-crisis levels, driven in part by Spain attractingmore visitors with greater spending power, as borne out by the rising proportion of higher quality hotelaccommodation.
    • The expectations for the next three months are somewhat cautious due to the uncertainty promptedby the deteriorating economic outlook and the upsurge in inflation. In the long-term, internationaltourism flows will be shaped by the sector’s capacity to continue improving the quality of its tourismoffering.
  • 09/01/2023
    2023/Q1 Article 07. Turkey: macro-financial situation (1 MB) Paula Sánchez Pastor

    Rationale

    Turkey is identified annually as a material country for the Spanish and euro area banking systems. Moreover, Turkey and Spain are linked by major trade and financial flows. It is therefore important to monitor the country’s macro-financial situation and main weaknesses.

    Takeaways

    • The Turkish economy continued to post very high inflation rates at end-2022, while economic activity began to slow in Q3, following its strong previous momentum. All of this in the context of sizeable external financing needs, foreign currency debt and low international reserves.
    • Fiscal policy performed better than expected, and the country’s accounts remain healthy. In terms of monetary policy, in August the Turkish central bank resumed the process of reducing the policy interest rate initiated a year earlier, with the real interest rate standing at -75.5% in November.
    • Nonetheless, macroprudential and regulatory measures were implemented to keep credit growth in check and encourage only lending to certain productive sectors. Meanwhile, the banking sector’s balance sheets remain relatively healthy, although some indicators have worsened.
  • 05/01/2023
    2023/Q1 Article 06. Recent economic performance of Spanish SMEs and developments in their access to external financing according to the ECB’s half-yearly survey (743 KB) Álvaro Menéndez and Maristela Mulino

    Rationale
    In recent years the Spanish business sector has experienced unprecedented shocks: the onset of the pandemic, supply chain bottlenecks and escalating commodity prices. In this setting, it is important to assess the sector’s economic and financial situation.

    Takeaways

    • Between April and September 2022, the recovery in activity recorded in the previous two six-month periods continued for Spanish SMEs. However, higher production costs meant that profits declined at the majority of the firms surveyed.
    • For the first time since 2013, the survey signals a deterioration in the availability of bank financing.
    • In any event, despite rising slightly, the indicator of obstacles to obtaining bank loans remains at historically low levels.

     

  • 03/01/2023
    2023/Q1 Article 05. Climate risk and credit supply in Spain (854 KB) Roi Barreira and Julio Gálvez

    Rationale

    The 2015 Paris Agreement is a milestone in the global fight against climate change. Against this backdrop, and as a result of credit institutions’ alignment with the agreement, it is important to analyse its impact on lending to firms.


    Takeaways

    • The 2015 Paris Agreement represents one of the first initiatives intended to foster the transition to a greener economy and, consequently, to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
    • The findings of this article show that lending by Spanish credit institutions to more polluting firms appears to have declined somewhat between 2014 and 2019.
    • The evidence presented also suggests that, during that period, the banks most exposed to climate risk reduced their supply of credit to firms operating in more polluting sectors in order to mitigate this risk. However, in quantitative terms, the effects are moderate.
  • 29/12/2022
    2023/Q1 Article 04. The 2022 European Semester and the Recovery and Resilience Facility (1 MB) Daniel Alonso and María de los Llanos Matea

    Rationale
    As a result of the pandemic and with the aim of adapting to a constantly changing environment, the European Semester has been immersed in an important restructuring process since 2020. The launch of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), a central element of the Next Generation EU (NGEU) temporary instrument, has made it necessary to adapt the European Semester to avoid overlaps and eliminate unnecessary administrative burdens.


    Takeaways

    • For the 2022 cycle, the European Semester preserves its main purpose of broad economic and employment policy coordination, while taking into account the implementation requirements of the RRF.
    • One of the key developments this year is the reintroduction of country reports and country-specific recommendations. A new recommendation included aims to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, in line with the REPowerEU objectives.
    • In the case of Spain, the recommendations are to: (i) ensure a prudent fiscal policy, (ii) continue implementing the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, (iii) increase recycling rates, and (iv) reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
  • 28/12/2022
    2023/Q1 Article 03. The effectiveness of different asset types as a hedge against inflation (628 KB) Alberto Fuertes Mendoza

    Rationale

    The current period of high inflation makes it difficult for investors to maintain their profitability targets in real terms. Against this background, it is important to analyse the returns on different types of assets recorded in this and past inflationary episodes.

    Takeaways

    • In the past, both commodities and inflation-linked bonds have generated positive real returns duringinflationary periods, while conventional sovereign bonds and general stock market indices haveyielded negative real returns.
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    • In the current inflationary episode energy-related assets have generated the highest returns, while inthe United States residential real estate has also performed well.
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    • In the recent period, both in the euro area and the United States investors have increased their holdingsin investment funds specialising in inflation-linked bonds, and have reduced their holdings inconventional bond and equity funds.
  • 27/12/2022
    2023/Q1 Article 02. The spread of inflation from energy to other components (564 KB) José González Mínguez, Samuel Hurtado, Danilo Leiva-León and Alberto Urtasun

    Rationale

    Inflation has risen continuously since December 2020. The increase was initially confined to the energy component, but has subsequently spread to food and the other components. It is important to understand the extent to which the spread of inflation is the result of higher energy prices.


    Takeaways

    • The influence of energy prices on underlying inflation has increased.
    • This is partly due to the larger size of recent shocks, but also to an intensification of the pass-throughof the changes in energy prices to other consumer prices.
  • 21/12/2022
    2023/Q1 Article 01. The use of cash and other means of payment: how is the way we pay changing? (864 KB) Laura Ferrando and Diana Posada

    Rationale

    Digitalisation has made significant headway in recent years, particularly following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Against this background, it is important to analyse how consumers’ payment habits are changing at the physical point of sale, online and person-to-person.


    Takeaways

    • In 2022, cash is the most commonly used payment method in Spain at the physical point of sale and in person-to-person transactions, but has declined compared with 2019.
    • The decrease in the use of cash is primarily driven by two factors. First, the growth in online purchases, which limits the opportunity to pay in cash and, second, a shift in consumers’ payment habits, with an increase in the use of digital payment methods in their purchases.

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