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Press Release 10/05/2019


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Sales in the extraction and manufacturing industry registered significant widespread growth in the regions of the Basque Country in 2017.

Employment also saw more moderate increases

In 2017, sales in the extraction and manufacturing industry increased significantly in sixteen of the twenty regions of the Basque Country, according to Eustat data. The most significant increases were in two regions of Álava, Estribaciones del Gorbea and Cantábrica Alavesa, which were up 16% and 11.1%, respectively, and in a region of Bizkaia, Gran Bilbao, where sales increased by 11%.


Although the performance of net sales in the extraction and manufacturing industry was very positive in the Basque Country as a whole, rising by 7.7% between 2016 and 2017, regional data reveals some important differences.

By province, in Álava net sales were up 8%. In addition to the aforementioned increases seen in Estribaciones del Gorbea and Cantábrica Alavesa, the growth in Rioja Alavesa, where sales rose by 9.9%, and in Llanada Alavesa, where they were up 7.7%, also stood out. It is worth noting that the latter region, where the capital of the province is located, accounted for 70% of the province’s total sales. However, Álava is the most heterogeneous province in this sense, given that two of the three regions that registered a downward trend are also located there. Namely, Valles Alaveses, where sales decreased by 5.7% in the last year of reference, and Montaña Alavesa, where they were down 3.7%. As a whole, sales in these two regions accounted for 4.6% of the province’s total.

The province with the greatest increase in turnover was Bizkaia, up 9.5%, thus ending a three-year streak of negative performances. With the exception of the region of Plentzia-Mungia, whose sales fell by 0.6% between 2016 and 2017, the rest of the regions registered increases, although to very different degrees. Whilst in Arratia-Nervión there was an increase of 0.9% and in Encartaciones of 0.8%, in Gran Bilbao sales were down 11%. Equally, the growth in Duranguesado, up 9.4%, Markina-Ondarroa, with a rise of 9.5% and Gernika-Bermeo, with an increase of 7.3%, also stood out. In Bizkaia, Gran Bilbao and Duranguesado, two of the regions with the highest growth, accounted for 85.8% of the total sales of the province, specifically 64.8% and 21%, respectively.

Gipuzkoa, which registered an increase of 4.9%, was the only province where all regions saw a positive performance in their net sales between 2016 and 2017. Above the provincial average of 4.9% were Alto Deba (8.2%), Bajo Bidasoa (7.2%), Tolosa (5.7%) and Goierri (5.6%), whereas Donostia-San Sebastián (4.7%), Bajo Deba (1.8%) and Urola Costa (0.7%) were below the average. In this province, Donostia-San Sebastián accounted for 24.8% of sales. Goierri and Alto Deba were of a similar importance, with 20.1% and 18.2%, respectively.

All in all, only one region, Rioja Alavesa, saw sales figures that were higher than those from the start of the crisis, in 2008. Compared to 2008, sales in this region were 6.2% higher. However, in the other regions the drop continued to be significant, particularly in regions such as Encartaciones, where sales were down 53.4% compared to 2008, and in Donostia-San Sebastián, Gran Bilbao and Urola-Costa, which all saw turnover decrease by more than 35% compared to that year.

The widespread growth in sales in the last year was reflected in employment, where eighteen regions posted a positive performance. Amongst them, special mention should be made of, in Gipuzkoa, Alto Deba with an increase of 5%, and Bajo Bidasoa, up 3.9%; in Bizkaia, Markina-Ondarroa, which posted a year-on-year rate of 4.6%, the same as Estribaciones del Gorbea in Álava.

The trend at the provincial level is very similar in the three provinces: in Gipuzkoa there was 2.8% more industrial employment, in Álava 2.6% and 2.3% in Bizkaia. As a whole, employment rose by 2.5% in the Basque Country in relation to 2016.

In Gipuzkoa, as in the case of sales, employment in the manufacturing and extraction industry rose between 2016 and 2017 in all of its regions. The greatest increases in the province and also in the autonomous region were found in the aforementioned regions of Alto Deba and Bajo Bidasoa. Except Tolosa, where growth stood at just 0.8%, the rest of the regions experienced increases equal to or greater than 2%. In Donostia-San Sebastián there was a rise of 2.6%, in Goierri it stood at 2.3%, and in Bajo Deba and Urola Costa a 2% increase was registered.

In Álava, only Montaña Alavesa saw a decrease in employment (-3.2%), whilst in Cantábrica Alavesa it remained practically unchanged (0.1%). In the four remaining regions of this province, increases varied between 4.6%, which corresponded to Estribaciones del Gorbea, and 1.8%, as seen in Valles Alaveses. Rioja Alavesa (2.2%) and Llanada Alavesa (3.2%) were in a comparative intermediate position.

Also in Bizkaia only one region posted an annual downturn; namely Arratia-Nervión, where employment fell by 2.2%. In the other regions, growth was more homogenous and, except for the slight increase in Plentzia-Mungia (0.3%), the increases varied between 1.7% more employment in Gernika-Bermeo and 2.6% in Encartaciones. The rise in Markina-Ondarroa stood out, with 4.6% more employment.

In Álava and Bizkaia the dominance of employment in the regions where the provincial capital is located, although striking, is less pronounced than that seen in sales. Thus, in the former, Llanada Alavesa accounted for 63% of employment in its province, when it represents 70% of sales. In Bizkaia, the region of Gran Bilbao accounted for 54.4% of total employment, but 64.8% of its sales. In contrast, in Gipuzkoa the weight of Donostia-San Sebastián is very similar in both cases, 25.1% of the regional employment against 24.8% of the sales.

Distribution of net sales in the extraction and manufacturing industry by regions. 2017.


Source: EUSTAT. Industrial Statistics of the Basque Country

As in the case of sales, the current state of employment compared to 2008 continues to be negative. In terms of employment, three regions of Bizkaia registered the worst figures. Namely Gran Bilbao, where manufacturing and extraction employment has decreased by 30.1% compared to 2008, Encartaciones with a loss of 32% and Plentzia-Mungia, which recorded a fall of 31.9%. The average for the Basque Country as a whole is therefore 22.3%.

As regards gross value added, which is the difference between the value of what is produced and that of the consumption utilised and represents the wealth generated, registered a rise of 3.1% in 2017 The regional trend was positive for sixteen of the twenty regions in the Basque Country. Among those that registered positive variations, of particular note are Estribaciones del Gorbea and Rioja Alavesa in Álava, with increases of 9.4% and 8.6%, respectively, Gernika-Bermeo in Bizkaia, up 9.3%, and Bajo Bidasoa in Gipuzkoa, whose gross value added rose by 6.3%. On the other hand, the largest decreases occurred in Montaña Alavesa and Encartaciones, with a fall of 9.4% in both regions. In the case of Gipuzkoa, no region registered negative variations.

Methodological note

The sectorisation used is the National Classification of Economic Activities (CNAE-2009), with the B (extractive industries) and C (manufacturing industries) being the only sections included in this disaggregation by regions.

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Basque Statistics Institute C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press service: servicioprensa@eustat.es Tlf: 945 01 75 62

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Sales in the extraction and manufacturing industry registered significant widespread growth in the regions of the Basque Country in 2017.

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