Press release 16.05.12
The GDP of the Basque Country registered a 0.3% year-on-year fall in the first quarter of 2012
The variation was also negative (-0.3%) with respect to the previous quarter
GDP of the Basque Country experienced a negative year-on-year rate of 0.3% in the first quarter of 2012, according to data provided by Eustat. This figure indicates a return to negative rates following seven quarters of positive growth. In the case of the Spanish economy this rate was -0.4%, in accordance with the advance estimation published by the INE.
With regards to the previous quarter, GDP growth of the Basque Country posted in the first quarter was negative (-0.3%), which was added to the also negative quarter-on-quarter growth (0.2%) observed in the previous quarter. This quarter-on-quarter variation was identical to that registered by the Spanish economy (-0.3%), according to the estimation by the INE.
From the point of view of supply, the year-on-year evolution in this quarter was marked fundamentally by the negative evolution of both industry and construction, together with very moderate growth in the services sector, which was mainly due to a notable reduction in the market services growth rate.
Year-on-year growth both in the primary sector and in net taxes on products was similar to that of the previous quarter.
The Primary sector posted growth in year-on-year terms (18.0%), although in month-on-month terms there was a decrease of 41.3%.
The Industry sector posted negative results in year-on-year terms (-1.1%) following a 6 month uninterrupted period of positive growth. In quarter-on-quarter terms it moderated its negative performance by 0.2%, being the third consecutive quarter with negative rates.
The Construction sector continued to contract, with a reduction in activity of 5.9% in this quarter, in year-on-year terms. The magnitude of this contraction, with respect to that obtained in the previous quarter, increased by just over one percentage point. The quarter-on-quarter rate was also negative (-3.8%).
Activity in the Market Services sector indicated a fall in its growth rates, although observing positive year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter rates of 0.1% in both cases. Compared to those observed in the previous quarter, the year-on-year and month-on-month rates were seven and three-tenths less, respectively.
On the other hand, the Non-market Services sector behaved less unfavourably both in year-on-year terms D +0.4%) and month-on-month terms (-1.4%). A moderation in the pace of month-on-month decline was observed.
The Services sector as a whole performed positively with respect to the first quarter of the previous year (0.2%), much less favourably than that posted in previous quarters, and negatively for the second consecutive quarter in quarter-on-quarter terms (-0.1%).
The aggregated sectorial performance has given rise to a negative evolution of Added Value in year-on-year terms of -0.5%, for the first time since the first quarter of 2010. The drop was also observed in quarter-on-quarter terms, given that in the first quarter there was a return to a negative rate (0.2%). It is the third consecutive quarter with negative quarter-on-quarter added value rates.
From the point of view of Demand, as in previous quarters, the foreign trade sector contributed positively to GDP growth, despite there being drops in both export and import levels.
Spending on Final Household Consumption (Private Consumption) presented a trend of deceleration with a positive growth rate of 0.1% in year-on-year terms, which for the second consecutive quarter was four-tenths down on that posted in the previous quarter. In quarter-on-quarter terms the recorded rate (-0.2%) was one-tenth more negative than the previous quarter.
There was a slight positive upturn in Public Consumption (Spending on Final Consumption of Public Administrations), which generated positive year-on-year growth of 0.2%. There was a positive rate of 2.3%, also in quarter-on-quarter terms.
The positive year-on-year growth rates, both for private and public consumption, generated growth of one-tenth for Expenditure on Final Consumption (the sum of Final Household Consumption and Public Consumption). With regards to the previous quarter there was growth of five-tenths.
Gross Capital Formation (Investment) continued to fall with a year-on-year drop of 4.2%. Also in quarter-on-quarter terms, and for the fourth consecutive quarter, gross capital formation was down by 1.5%. Investment in equipment goods and the performance of construction, especially, were the reason for these figures.
Internal Demand, composed of Final Consumption Expenditure and Gross Capital Formation, suffered a new contraction in the first quarter of the year. In year-on-year terms, if the fourth quarter of 2011 had already posted a fall of 1.0%, this quarter it again fell, with a negative rate of 0.9%. This trend can be explained by moderate growth of consumption and a sharp drop in investment.
The contribution of the Foreign sector to the performance of GDP was, as in previous quarters, positive, but with the new characteristic of a certain decline in foreign trade growth rates. This new positive contribution of the foreign balance was produced with a year-on-year fall in exports of 2.3%, with the drop in imports being even more pronounced (-3.5%).
The fall in GDP both in year-on-year and month-on-month terms generated a new drop in the level of employment, measured in Jobs, quantified in a year-on-year decrease of 1.7% and a decrease of 0.8% with regards to the fourth quarter of 2011. It is the fifteenth consecutive quarter of year-on-year drops in the level of employment.
The loss of jobs was concentrated both in year-on-year and month-on-month terms in the Industry, Construction and Services sectors. Industry increased on its downward slope, posting a 3.0% drop in its year-on-year rate and 1.7% in its quarter-on-quarter rate. The rate of Construction, with an uninterrupted decline since the first quarter of 2008, stood at 11.7% in year-on-year terms and 3.3% in quarter-on-quarter terms. The Services sector produced the first year-on-year drop in eight quarters, falling by 0.1%. Employment also fell by 0.3% in relation to the fourth quarter of 2011. The only positive figure, although limited in its scope, was produced by the quarter-on-quarter rate of the primary sector, which was up 0.5%, although the year-on-year rate was down 0.3%.
The evolution of GDP by Province was very similar for all of them. The greatest year-on-year fall was in Bizkaia, with a drop of 0.4%, with Álava and Gipuzkoa dropping by 0.3% in both cases. In quarter-on-quarter terms Gipuzkoa fell more (0.4%), whilst Álava and Bizkaia were both down 0.3%.
For further information:
Basque Statistics Office
C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz
Tel: +34-945-01 75 00 Fax:+34-945-01 75 01 E-mail: email@example.com
Contact: Javier Aramburu
Tel:+34-945-01 75 80 Fax:+34-945-01 75 01
More press releases on the CET - Quarterly Economic Accounts of the Basque Country
Quarterly Economic Accounts of the Basque Country databank