Spain: Omicron wave and war in Ukraine hammer growth in Q1
According to a preliminary estimate, GDP rose 0.3% on a seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis in the first quarter of this year, decelerating sharply from the 2.2% rise recorded in Q4 2021. The economy felt the effects of surging inflation—exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine war—and the spread of the Omicron variant. In year-on-year terms, the economy grew 6.4% in Q1, accelerating from the 5.5% increase recorded in the previous quarter.
A notable contraction in consumer spending drove the quarterly slowdown in Q1. Private spending shrank 3.7% on a quarterly basis, following a 1.5% increase in Q4, hit by soaring energy prices, Covid-19 containment measures and job losses. Meanwhile, government consumption increased 1.3% from the prior quarter (Q4 2021: -1.6% s.a. qoq), while fixed investment rose 3.4%, supported by growth in investment in tangible fixed assets, housing, and machinery and equipment (Q4: +3.1% s.a. qoq). Overall, domestic demand subtracted 1.2 percentage points from growth in Q1.
Meanwhile, the external sector added 1.5 percentage points to growth in the quarter, as exports continued to increase while imports fell due to shrinking domestic demand. Exports of goods and services rose 3.4% in seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter terms (Q4 2021: +7.2% s.a. qoq). Imports, meanwhile, were down 0.5% in quarterly terms (Q4: +4.5% s.a. qoq).