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Economy

Economy

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Spain’s GDP could contract 11.5 percent in 2020 and grow seven percent in 2021, according to the latest ‘Spain Economic Outlook’ report, which was presented this Tuesday by Jorge Sicilia, Chief Economist at BBVA Group and Director of BBVA Research; Rafael Doménech, BBVA Research Head of Economic Analysis; and Miguel Cardoso, BBVA Research’s Chief Economist for Spain. The contraction that is expected in 2020 represents a downgrade from the previous report’s forecast, which estimated an eight percent drop in GDP this year. The downward revision is mainly due to the fact that lockdown measures were in place longer than anticipated and these restrictions had a greater impact on demand, like in other European countries. Still, the reduction in number of COVID-19 infections and the easing of restrictions has led to a strong recovery. The ambitious policy announcements in Europe and a significant fiscal stimulus in Spain reinforces the expectation that this trend will continue. Even so, the risks continue to tilt to the downside in a climate of continued heightened uncertainty.

According to last week’s data on credit and debit card spending, consumption has recovered in regions where pandemic restrictions have been lifted. This improvement is observed in the U.S., Turkey and Spain, and in recent days in Latin America. In Spain, increased spending has been seen in those regions that first moved into phase two of the country’s reopening. BBVA Research points out that there was also an increase in ATM cash withdrawals.

The relaxation of pandemic restrictions has given consumption a boost in those Spanish regions that first moved into phase two of the country’s reopening. BBVA Research’s weekly analysis measuring debit and credit card spend reveals that for regions remaining in phase one, previous consumption improvements (coming out of the transition from phase zero to one) stalled, with declines last week of May standing firmly at between 10 and 15 percent.

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Fewer mobility restrictions are beginning to bear fruit and some countries are starting to show signs of recovery, although at different speeds. The U.S. Sunbelt and Turkey are leading the way. In Spain, lifting the lockdown restrictions in different phases is leading to unequal recovery among the regions. These are the main conclusions of a weekly study that analyzes the dynamics of expenditures in the countries where BBVA operates during the COVID 19 pandemic.