Unicaja Banco has published the issue number 109 of the report ‘Previsiones Económicas de Andalucía’ (Economic Forecasts for Andalusia), prepared, as in previous editions, by Analistas Económicos de Andalucía. As indicated in the document, the estimations of the research company of Grupo Unicaja Banco point to a regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 4.2% in 2022, whereas employment could grow by 3.3%, with an estimated unemployment rate of 19.2% in the year average.
For 2023, the forecasts suggest that the Andalusian GDP could grow by 1.6%. With regard to employment, an increase of 1.3% is expected for the year average, with the unemployment rate standing at 19.2%.
This report is divided into four sections: 1) Economic environment; 2) Recent evolution of the Andalusian economy; and 3) Economic outlook for Andalusia 2022 and 4) Provincial analysis. The first section describes the international and national backdrop and its recent evolution. The second section analyses the situation of the Andalusian economy, with special focus on the evolution of the main indicators, according to the region’s productive structure. The third section includes forecasts on the evolution of the GDP and employment in Andalusia for 2022 y 2023. Finally, the last section focuses on the analysis of the evolution and economic outlook of the Andalusian provinces.
Global and national economic environment
Continuing the trend that began in the second half of 2021, during the last quarter there has been a remarkable loss of momentum in activity on a global scale, as a result of a series of adverse factors that interact with each other, among which, undoubtedly, the increase in prices, which has exceeded the worst expectations, stands out for its importance. In response to the strong inflationary pressures, more persistent and higher than expected, the main Central Banks, in their attempt to anchor inflation expectations to their medium-term objectives, have maintained or intensified the tightening of monetary policy, deploying the full range of available instruments.
According to the latest forecasts published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the world economy is expected to register an increase in output of 3.2% in 2022. In 2023, the GDP growth rate is expected to moderate to 2.7%.
In the specific case of the Eurozone, in the second quarter of the year, quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.8% was recorded, 0.1 percentage points (p.p.) above the previous quarter, while in September the increase in prices was around 10%. IMF forecasts point to GDP growth of 3.1% and 0.5% for 2022 and 2023, respectively. On the other hand, the increase in consumer prices is quantified at 8.3% for 2022 and 5.7% for 2023.
However, these forecasts are subject to extraordinary uncertainty, given the existence of important sources of risk that could bias them downward for activity, stoking fears of a recession, and upward for inflation.
With regard to the Spanish economy, the data from the Quarterly National Accounts of INE (National Statistics Institute), corresponding to the second quarter of 2022, show that the Spanish GDP grew by 1.5% (0.8% in the Euro zone), supported by both domestic demand and the foreign sector, after falling by 0.2% between January and March. In year-on-year terms, GDP growth stood at 6.8% (4.1% in the euro zone), with a positive contribution from domestic demand (1.9 percentage points) and especially from the foreign sector (4.9 percentage points), with an outstanding growth in services exports and, more specifically, in tourism services.
In this context, the main forecasting agencies point to growth of over 4% for 2022 as a whole. Growth for 2023 has also been revised downward to below 2% overall.
Recent evolution of the Andalusian economy
According to the latest data from the Quarterly Regional Accounts of Andalusia, in the second quarter of 2022, the GDP has grown by 0.8% (0.1% in the first quarter), supported by the domestic demand, especially private consumption. In year-on-year terms, growth stood at 5.9%, although output was 2% lower than in the fourth quarter of 2019.
On the demand side, the growth of the different components is generalized, except for consumer spending by public administrations (-1.0% in year-on-year terms). Household consumption expenditure grew by 3.1% and investment by 8.3%, with domestic demand contributing 3.1 percentage points to regional growth. The contribution of the external balance remained at 2.8 p.p., with a strong increase in exports, close to 20%, closely linked to the improvement in exports of services, especially tourism.
On the supply side, the quarterly growth in industry and construction is noteworthy, while in the services sector the increase has been more moderate and in the agricultural sector there has been a decrease in Gross Value Added (GVA). In year-on-year terms, it is the services sector (7.4%) which has made the greatest contribution to growth, with the increase in commerce, transport and hotels and restaurants (21.2%) standing out. Construction grew by 5.2% and industry by 2.8%, while agricultural GVA decreased by 4.1%.
With regard to the labour market, both the figures of the Regional Accounts and those of the Labour Force Survey (EPA) and Social Security contribution show a significant rate of growth in employment in the first half of 2022, recovering the levels prior to the pandemic. However, the latest published data on workers under the Social Security reflect a certain slowdown in job creation.
According to the EPA, in the second quarter the number of employed persons stood at 3,278,500, increasing by 60,700 compared to the previous quarter, mainly due to the increase in market services. Compared to the second quarter of 2021, employment grew by 3.9%. About 95% of this increase was in market services and more than half in trade, transport and hotels and restaurants. The labor force continued to grow, although at a slower pace, and the number of unemployed decreased again, reducing the unemployment rate to 18.7% (12.5% in Spain), almost 3 percentage points lower than a year earlier.
Economic Outlook for Andalusia 2021-2022
The forecasts of Analistas Económicos de Andalucía indicate that in 2022 as a whole, the Andalusian GDP could grow by 4.2%, a rate that is similar to the Spanish average and that estimated in March. As for 2023, the growth rate would moderate to 1.6%, in a context of high uncertainty, in which the risk of recession has increased for the main world economies.
On the other hand, the number of employed persons (according to EPA figures) is estimated to grow by 3.3% on average in 2022, slightly more than double the previous estimate, given the higher-than-expected growth in the first half of the year. Likewise, the number of unemployed persons could fall by around 11%, which would bring the unemployment rate in the average year to 19.2%, around 2.5 percentage points lower than in 2021. For 2023, the number of employed persons is expected to increase by 1.3%, while the reduction in unemployment is expected to slow down, with the unemployment rate remaining at 19.2%.
In a breakdown of the analysis by provinces, the economic activity would have increased in all provinces in the first half of the year, although the growth rates would have moderated in the second quarter. In Malaga (7.0% year-on-year), Cadiz (6.1%), Almeria (6.0%) and Seville (6.0%), growth would have exceeded the regional average (6.4%).
In 2022 as a whole, growths above the Andalusian average are estimated by Analistas Económicos de Andalucía in Málaga (5.0%) and Cadiz (4.4%), while Almeria (4.2%) and Seville (4.2%) could grow at a similar rate to the regional average.