Spanish economy: services sector improving

by Deborah Cater
Spanish economy on upward turn according to PMI index

The vaccination campaign and relaxation of the corona measures are bearing fruit for the Spanish economy. The service sector in Spain has not grown as much since August 2015 as it did in May, when unemployment also fell further.

The PMI index (also known as buyers’ index), which provides an indication of the confidence purchasing managers have in the economy, rose from 54.6 in April to 59.4 in May. That is significantly higher than the expected 57.9. A value of 50 or more is a sign of economic growth.

Confidence is back

The rapid recovery started in April, as a result of a sharp increase in demand for services. As companies gained more confidence in the future, they hired more people. More than 60% of the companies surveyed foresee a further increase in business in the next 12 months.

Despite the fact most people are still (temporarily) out of a job in the service sector, there were 93,327 fewer unemployed in April. Since February, the month which recorded the highest number of unemployed, this number has declined for three consecutive months.

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A similar trend can be seen in the industrial sector, where the number of registered jobseekers also fell sharply this quarter. In May, this number fell by 9,403, bringing the unemployment rate to its lowest level since the pandemic broke out in March.

Biggest recovery in catering

The largest recovery (compared to the previous month) was in the hospitality sector (+6.13%). The administrative sector (+1.29%) and commercial sector (+0.64%) followed.

The major trade unions are confident of a further recovery in the Spanish economy this summer; followed by stable economic and employment growth.

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