Spain’s economic recovery

Spain’s Ministry of industry, trade and tourism recently released the latest report, saying that Spain’s import and export trade is accelerating recovery. In November last year, the export volume was close to the level of the same period in 2019, and the year-on-year gap of import volume is also narrowing. From January to November 2020, Spain’s trade deficit decreased by 58.7% year on year. The Spanish government said that the current economic indicators show that the Spanish economy is continuing to recover. Spain’s independent agency for fiscal responsibility recently predicted that Spain’s economy will maintain a growth trend in the fourth quarter of 2020, with a 1.7% month on month growth, following a substantial 16.4% month on month growth of GDP in the third quarter of 2020. According to the world economic outlook report previously released by the International Monetary Fund, Spain’s economy will grow by 7.2% in 2021, ranking first among developed economies. In 2020, the Spanish government has introduced a series of measures to help enterprises affected by the epidemic. At the end of 2020, a new round of aid plan will focus on reducing the pressure on enterprises in terms of liquidity and solvency, including extending the deadline for enterprises to apply for government guaranteed credit to the end of June 2021, increasing the maximum loan term from five years to eight years, and extending the grace period for repayment. The Spanish government also announced that it will invest 4.22 billion euros to support tourism and catering industries, which are seriously affected by the epidemic, through rent reduction, increased liquidity loans, delayed tax payment and social security. In the field of labor, the government has launched the “temporary employee change plan”, which allows some enterprises to give employees temporary leave or reduce working hours, but not to fire employees. Through the EU’s “unemployment risk relief program in emergency”, the Spanish government has obtained a total loan of 10 billion euros to subsidize the “temporary employee change program” and extend the program to the end of May this year. According to the EU’s “recovery fund” program, Spain will receive 140 billion euros in aid in the next few years, including grants and low interest loans. The first batch of aid is expected to be available this year. From 2021 to 2023, Spain plans to expand public investment in ten major areas, including improving infrastructure, promoting innovation and employment, strengthening education and vocational training, among which the investment in green economy and digital economy will reach 37% and 33% of the total budget respectively. The Spanish government predicts that if EU aid funds are available in time, it will bring an additional 2.6% growth to Spain’s economy in 2021. Spain’s economic recovery and development still face many challenges. First of all, a new round of epidemic is spreading, which will affect the economic recovery. The Central Bank of Spain recently predicted that the economic growth rate in 2021 will fluctuate between 4.2% and 8.6% according to the vaccination rate. Secondly, there is still great pressure on the Spanish labor market in the short term. According to statistics, more than 720000 people will be unemployed in Spain in 2020. The Central Bank of Spain believes that some jobs seriously affected by the epidemic will be difficult to return to work in the short term, and the “temporary employee change plan” is coming to an end. At that time, the unemployment rate may reach a high point, and it will not begin to decline until 2022. (Madrid, January 24) – People’s daily (January 25, 2021, 17th Edition);

(editor in charge: Ma Changyan)

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