Spain: Economy moderates pace of decline on consumption
November 15, 2012
In the third quarter, GDP contracted 0.3% over the previous quarter in seasonally adjusted terms, according to more complete data released by the National Statistics Office (INE) on 15 November. The figure, which confirmed the advance estimate published on 30 October, represented a slight improvement compared to the 0.4% decline recorded in the second quarter but marks the fifth consecutive quarter of declining output for the Spanish economy. The milder contraction in Q3 was mainly caused by a softer decline in private consumption, which contracted 0.5% over the previous period (Q2: -1.0% quarter-on-quarter). Government consumption, on the other hand, plunged 2.4% over the previous quarter (Q2: -0.6% qoq) as the government continues to implement a series of rigorous austerity policies. Meanwhile, gross fixed investment fell 1.4% over the previous quarter, a moderation compared to the 3.0% decline observed in Q2. On the external side of the economy, both exports and imports improved at a similar pace. Exports accelerated to a 4.8% expansion (Q2: +1.7% qoq), while imports bounced back from a 1.3% contraction in Q2 to a 2.4% increase. On an annual basis, GDP declined 1.6% over the same quarter last year, a deterioration over the 1.4% decline recorded in the second quarter (previously reported: -1.3%).