Most jobs created in the third quarter were in the services sector.
The experts say it is vital that consumers who can afford to spend “do so now” and on Spanish products
The services sector will be the driving force behind the economy in 2014, another good year for tourism
Despite the caution economists have developed during the crisis, this week experts in the province of Malaga have broadcast a clearly optimistic message for next year.
According to Analistas Económicas de Andalucía (AEA, an organisation devoted to financial studies founded by Unicaja in 1995), the foundations for financial recovery “have already been laid” and the province is in a position “to start to change the cycle”, in the words of the CEO, Francisco García Navas.
In figures this forecast indicates a one per cent growth in the provincial GDP in 2014, in line with similar increases predicted in Andalucía and Spain.
The good news, which can be applied to all sectors except construction, will lead to job creation from the second quarter of next year.
The coordinator of the report published on Tuesday, Felisa Becerra, specified that in 2014, employment is expected to fall by an average of 0.3% in Andalucía, although net growth will occur from June. This evolution, combined with a predicted reduction in active population will bring the jobless figures down by 0.8% leaving the regional unemployment rate at 36.3% at the end of next year. (The AEA predicts that the Andalusian rate will be 36.5% at the end of 2013. At the end of the third quarter it was at 36.4%.)
Becerra stressed that the majority of experts have “banished the myth” that jobs cannot be generated until there is growth in the GDP of at least two per cent.
“Now there is even talk that it is possible with one per cent growth, especially in economies like Spain’s where there have been such drastic employment cuts,” she explained.
Meanwhile household spending is expected to pick up slightly next year with an incipient rise of 0.1%.
The Unicaja experts base their optimism on the improvements shown by certain economic gauges throughout the year, on global, national, regional and provincial levels.
García Navas highlighted productivity (which has recovered in just four years from a decade of decline), the increase in exports and a reduction in the debts of families and businesses.
“We must spend”
The CEO of Analistas Económicas de Andalucía highlighted the “great work” carried out by Spain “in a very short time” to improve its economy.
While he repeated that the foundations for recovery were already in place, “we cannot drop our guard”, as Spain is still “first in line to suffer from any volatility in the markets”.
Nevertheless García Navas said that to complete the change in cycle consumer spending has to increase.
“We have to say it loud and clear: if you can afford to spend, do it now, and buy Spanish products,” he advised.
Stock of unsold homes down
The construction boom and consequent crisis left the province of Malaga with a legacy of more than 50,000 unsold new homes.
According to the Analistas Económicas de Andalucía, around 20% of the total, some 12,000 properties have been sold in the last three years.
Malaga province accounts for a quarter of all the unsold new homes in Andalucía (an estimated total of 160,446) however the sales rate is also greater and increasing.
Much of the recent sales have been to foreigners buying holiday homes in this area.
CEO of Analistas Económicas de Andalucía, Francisco García Navas, said that there is a “contained demand” due to the uncertainty surrounding the economy.
When the situation starts to improve, next year according to the AEA, then the market will start to flow and there will be a significant “acceleration” in property sales, with a “sufficient price adjustment”, said the expert.
In the second quarter of this year property sales were up 21.2% in comparison to 2012.