Press Release 02/13/2013


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The GDP of the Basque Country registered a 1.7% year-on-year downturn in the fourth quarter of 2012

In 2012 overall, almost 23,000 net jobs were lost

The GDP of the Basque Country experienced negative year-on-year growth of 1.7% in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to data provided by Eustat. This decrease was 1.8% for the Spanish economy.

Compared to the previous quarter, the GDP of the Basque Country registered degrowth of 0.5% in the fourth quarter, the fifth consecutive quarter of quarter-on-quarter degrowth. This variation was two tenths less negative than that obtained in the Spanish economy.


From the point of view of supply, the year-on-year decrease of the GDP is the result of the negative performance of three of the four large activity sectors, with the exception of the primary sector. Net Taxes on Products also suffered a drop in comparison with the fourth quarter of 2011, in a more pronounced manner than in the previous quarter.

The Primary sector registered positive evolution in both year-on-year (8.4%) and quarter-on-quarter terms (31.0%).


There was a negative performance in the Industry sector for the fifth consecutive quarter in year-on-year terms (-3.1%), and in quarter-on-quarter terms (-1.9%) for the sixth consecutive quarter. Both the year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter evolution accentuated its fall with regards to the data observed in the third quarter of 2012.


The contraction of the Construction sector in year-on-year terms eased slightly in this quarter, with a drop of 5.7%. With regards to the previous quarter, the added value of the sector experienced light growth, valued at 0.3%, following three quarters of significant quarter-on-quarter downturns.

The overall activity of the Services sector displayed a year-on-year fall of 0.9%, three tenths more than that of the third quarter of 2012, observing a progressive loss of activity throughout the four quarters of 2012. As a year-on-year rate the drop was 0.6%, being the second consecutive quarter-on-quarter downturn.

In year-on-year terms the most significant decrease in the activity level of the services sector was produced in the Trade, Hotel Management & Catering and Transport branch with a drop of 2.0%,followed by the Public Administration, Education, Health and Social Services branch with a fall of 1.9%. The Other Services branch, which includes, amongst others, professional, finance and insurance activities, was the only branch to witness a positive year-on-year evolution, 0.3%.

In quarter-on-quarter terms the greatest decrease was produced in the Public Administration, Education, Health and Social Services branch, with a contraction of 3.4%. Also in quarter-on-quarter terms, the rate for the so-called Other Services branch was the only rate to show growth, 0.7%.

The aggregated sectorial performance has given rise to a negative evolution of Added Value of -1.8% in year-on-year terms and of -0.6% in quarter-on-quarter terms. All of the quarters in 2012 presented negative year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter figures, which accentuated as the year went on.

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, with negative variation rates both in year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter terms.


Household Final Consumption Expenditure (Private Consumption) intensified its profile of deceleration observed in previous quarters, presenting a decrease of 1.6% with regards to the same quarter of the previous year. This decrease is seven tenths greater than the previous quarter (-0.9%). In quarter-on-quarter terms the decrease stood at 0.9%.

Public Administrations Final Consumption Expenditure (Public Consumption) posted, for the sixth consecutive quarter, a negative year-on-year figure (-1.6%). It also dropped by 0.7% in quarter-on-quarter terms.

The year-on-year negative variation rates, both for Private and Public Consumption, generated a decrease of 1.6% in Final Consumption Expenditure (sum of Household Final Consumption Expenditure and Public Administrations Final Consumption Expenditure). With regards to the previous quarter there was also a downturn, 0.8%. Both of these negative rates increased the drops already observed in the previous quarter.

There was another downturn in Gross Capital Formation (Investment) in year-on-year terms (-5.5%), more pronounced than in the preceding quarter (-4.9%). In quarter-on-quarter terms there was also a decrease of 2.8%. The two components of Gross Capital Formation posted negative figures in year-on-year and month-on-month terms, both formation linked to equipment goods and other formation linked to construction.

Internal Demand, composed of Final Consumption Expenditure and Gross Capital Formation, saw an acceleration in its contraction in the fourth quarter of the year. In year-on-year terms the decrease observed in this quarter stood at 2.5% (the fifth consecutive negative value), compared to the drop of 2.3% in the previous quarter.


The contribution of the Foreign sector to GDP performance was positive as in previous quarters, despite a contraction in foreign trade again being recorded. This new positive contribution from the foreign balance was a result of the year-on-year fall in exports (contraction of 9.6%) and in imports, which was even more pronounced (10.2%). In quarter-on-quarter terms exports were down by 4.6% and imports by 5.5%.

The fall both in GDP both in year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter terms generated a new decrease in the employment level, measured in Full-Time Equivalent Jobs. The drop in employment stood at 3.1% in year-on-year terms. In quarter-on-quarter terms the fall was 1.0%.

The loss in employment level was produced both in year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter terms in the four large production sectors. Industry increased on its downward slope in both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter terms, dropping by 5.3% in relation to the same quarter of 2011. In quarter-on-quarter terms the evolution also continued on a negative path, with a variation rate of -1.3%. Employment in the Construction sector displayed a similar profile to that of Industry, but with sharper declines. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year the drop in the employment level stood at 10.9%. With regards to the third quarter the loss stood at 3.2%. The Services sector saw the fifth consecutive year-on-year decrease, with a year-on-year drop of 1.4%. A new contraction was also observed in quarter-on-quarter terms, with a drop of 0.6%. Moreover, the employment level was down in the primary sector both in year-on-year (-4.8%) and quarter-on-quarter terms (-6.6%).

In terms of the evolution of GDP by Province, in year-on-year terms Álava showed the largest downturn with 1.9%, followed by Gipuzkoa with a drop of 1.8%. The reduction in Bizkaia was 1.6%. In quarter-on-quarter terms Álava was down by 0.5%, Gipuzkoa by 0.7% and Bizkaia by 0.4%.

GDP fell by 1.2% throughout 2012 as a whole, with a 2.5% drop in the level of employment

The GDP of the Basque economy fell by 1.2% in 2012, dragged down by three of the four branches studied that saw a reduction in their activity levels. The Construction sector stood out, with a 6.3% contraction. The industrial sector again posted a negative performance following a positive 2011, with a 2.4% drop in added value, determined in a large part by the weight of the manufacturing industry, which was down by 2.1%. There was also a drop in the activity level of the services sector, with this downturn standing at 0.3%. This drop originated in the negative performance of the Trade, Hotel Management & Catering and Transport sector, which was down 1.1%, together with contraction of the branch including Public Administration, Education and Health, which went from 3.9% growth in 2011 to zero growth (0.0%) in 2012. Other services grew slightly (0.1%).

The effect of net taxes on products throughout the whole of 2012 was negative, with a drop of 0.3%.

The analysis in terms of demand showed a contraction of Internal Demand of 2.2%, against a year-on-year fall of 1.2 in GDP, with a positive contribution from the foreign balance for 2012 as a whole.

The fall in Household Final Consumption Expenditure (-1.0%) and the contraction of Public Administrations Final Consumption Expenditure (-2.1%) meant a decrease in Final Consumption of 1.2%. Gross Capital Formation, due to the negative performance of its two components, showed the most negative profile in terms of demand, with a downturn of 5.4% for the whole of 2012.

Employment evolution, measured in full-time equivalent jobs, was negative, with an estimated decrease of 2.5% as an average of 2012, with almost 23,000 net jobs lost. This fall in the employment level was common for all sectors, less pronounced in the Primary sector (-0.1%) and in the Services sector (-0.8%) with more significant drops in Construction (-11.8%) and Industry (-4.3%).

Note: Eustat has published the first estimation of 2012 in its Quarterly Accounts and incorporated the definitive yearly estimation of 2010 and the advance estimation of 2011 that, amongst other improvements, has meant the adaptation of the National Classification of Economic Activities (CNAE) 2009. As a result, there are changes in some components both in terms of supply and demand, also including a greater disaggregation in some.

The definitive estimations in the historical series that refer to the 2010 reference year will shortly be published.

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: 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

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The GDP of the Basque Country registered a 1.7% year-on-year downturn in the fourth quarter of 2012

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