They foresee an average CPI of 3.2% in 2024 and predict a public deficit this year of 3.4%, higher than the 3% projected by the Government
MADRID, 12 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The General Council of Economists (CGE) estimates that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Spain will grow by 1.6% in 2024, after the "positive" growth in 2023 (2.5%), although they have warned that it is forecast a certain slowdown of the economy in the coming months.
"The strong growth (0.6%) of the last quarter of the year means that 2024 starts with positive inertia and traction," the economists said in their 'Financial Observatory' for the third quarter of 2023, presented this Monday.
Despite this positive start to the year, economists have warned that the uncertain geopolitical environment must be taken into account due to the war conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, "which can lead to tensions in trade, causing inflation not to moderate." .
Forecasts point to the moderation of the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) to 3.2% in 2024, although they have warned that this projection may fall short depending on whether the Red Sea conflict that affects the price of cargo freight energy and raw materials persists or worsens.
Internally, economists have pointed out that the risks for the Spanish economy come from the increase in prices and therefore business costs, productivity that is not taking off and the persistent drought, especially serious in some areas of Spain, which affects mainly to the agricultural and tourism sectors.
The Council estimates a decrease in the unemployment rate to 11.7% this year, while at the fiscal level, the economists' forecasts are more pessimistic than those of the Government, since they do not foresee that the public deficit will moderate to 3% this year to comply with tax rules.
They estimate that the deficit will end 2024 at 3.4% because "2023 income will not be maintained due to lower economic growth." For their part, they project that the debt will stand at 106.6% of GDP at the end of the year.
The president of the General Council of Economists of Spain (CGE), Valentín Pich, has explained that the report of the Financial Observatory and Economic Keys for the third quarter presented this Monday conveys a still photo that in principle could be seen in positive terms, although it will depend much of the upcoming decisions.
While it is true that GDP growth in Spain is in positive territory, that the general inflation rate continues to fall, albeit slowly, and that the labor market has improved, it is no less true that both the European Commission and various organizations International forecasts for this year and next year will see lower growth rates for practically all countries, including Spain.
For all these reasons, Pich has called for taking into account the entire geopolitical environment, which can lead to additional tensions that make the forecasts worse.
For his part, the director of the CGE Studies Service, Salvador Marín, has highlighted that "in this quarter the leading indices clearly point to a certain slowdown in the coming months, so it seems sensible to focus on trying to that these forecasts are not confirmed".
Thus, Marín has pointed out that "both the real unit labor cost and the productivity data per hour worked for this last quarter are signals that could anticipate certain future tension, due to their knock-on effects.
In her speech at the presentation of the report, the Minister of Economy, Finance and European Funds of the Government of Andalusia, Carolina España, stated that "in just five years an impossible has been achieved, for Andalusia to begin to climb back from the bottom position in which she seemed inevitably immersed".
"No one can doubt that Andalusia is much better today than it was five years ago; our policies have contributed to companies creating jobs and reducing unemployment by 5 points since Juanma Moreno is president of the Andalusian Government," he highlighted. .
He also added that the bilateral agreements of the PSOE with the Catalan nationalists "derail the efforts made by the Autonomous Communities to generate stable environments attractive for investment."