The trade blames paralysis because of the financial slowdown and geopolitical tensions | Economy | EUROtoday

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The Spanish trade continues to tug its ft within the restoration course of. In the shadow of the thriving companies sector, the turnover of producing exercise closed 2023 with a drop of 1.6%, the biggest drop in a decade with out making an allowance for the yr of the outbreak of the pandemic, in accordance with the National Institute of Statistics (INE). The financial cooling attributable to charge will increase, geopolitical uncertainty, in Ukraine and Gaza, amplifies the consequences of the rise in uncooked materials prices. Entrepreneurs belief within the enhance of funding in digitalization and the inexperienced transition to beat the stagnation of the sector.

The disaster within the trade will not be unrelated to the unhealthy second that the sector goes by way of in the remainder of the euro zone, with the German locomotive in recession. However, the drop in manufacturing, of 0.8%, was a 3rd of that recorded by the continent as a complete, of two.4%. The president of the final council of Industrial Technical Engineering of Spain considers that these issues are resulting from “a loss of competitiveness of the Spanish and European industry with the relocation of this sector to third countries where costs are cheaper, the energy dependence of other countries and the worrying lack of qualified labor.” International organizations level out that the sector additionally suffers from the rise in rates of interest, which has made enterprise credit score costlier and slowed down funding.

Despite this fall, the burden of the trade in Spain's GDP is 16%, in accordance with information from the INE. This determine is 4% under the target set by the European Union industrial technique, which additionally seeks a extra digitalized and inexperienced sector. The solely communities that exceed the typical are the Basque Country and Navarra, though Catalonia and Madrid are near that threshold. The remainder of the autonomous communities are nonetheless very far-off.

A worker from the toy company Injusa, in Alicante
A employee from the toy firm Injusa, in AlicanteEuropa Press News (Europa Press by way of Getty Images)

Marisa Poncela, former Secretary of State for Commerce and Industry advisor on the consulting agency Llorente y Cuenca, assures that “the data is bad.” “There are many problems that the Spanish industry faces today. On the one hand, the change in technological paradigm is having a strong impact on the attraction and retention of critical talent by companies and the lack of sufficient investments in new technologies is causing a loss of productivity that has been worsening in the last two decades. On the other hand, various European policies in relation to energy and carbon dioxide prices are generating a loss of competitiveness and income that is occurring in Europe, and in Spain especially, and are policies that are not expected to stop. to increase in the future, but they are putting us in a weak situation compared to the main competitors in the markets, which are the United States and China,” he says.

Ramón Mateo, director of Analysis and Regulatory Impact at beBartlet, factors out that, in impact, the Spanish financial system was above the forecasts that worldwide establishments had set throughout 2023. The first levels of this yr point out that this could occur once more , though Mateo is pessimistic and believes that the advance state of affairs will average. “The situation at a geopolitical level is far from calm and we cannot normalize it because the industry in Europe would be in danger. One of the good news in 2023 is that the continent has been able to not be dependent on Russia in energy matters. However, at this time what we can talk about with more certainty is a slowdown, but we are not in a catastrophic mood,” Mateo identified.

The car sector recovers after a nasty 2022

According to a report by Funcas, a number of actions did handle to develop in 2023: the pharmaceutical trade, vehicles and different branches associated to the manufacturing of capital items, similar to computing, electronics and optics. Specifically, the car sector recorded a 17% enhance in gross sales after a “very bad” 2022 with simply 814,000 models, in accordance with Anfac, the affiliation of automobile producers in Spain. “In 2024, it is essential to establish strong measures that encourage the general market and boost sales of electrified vehicles. An economy like Spain has had a market of over one million units, a figure that, despite this positive pace, will not be exceeded in 2024, in which we will be close to one million vehicles,” they are saying from Anfac.

The employers of this sector, which has not but recovered from pre-pandemic ranges, admit that geopolitical tensions and issues in logistics chains have been the principle obstacles it has suffered in 2023. Even so, they ask for better funding a part of the establishments to assist the electrification of automobiles.

The technological client items sector, however, has skilled an finish to 2023 with widespread market declines (-3.5% globally, -5% in Europe and -1.6% in Spain). “Technological products seem to have hit rock bottom in 2023, compared to the results they experienced before the pandemic,” they level out from the Association of Manufacturers and Distributors. This affiliation factors out that the principle obstacles they confronted final yr have been authorities laws and altering client habits, as a result of they more and more demand merchandise which might be extra sustainable, so corporations must adapt to their wants. .

For 2024, they foresee a sure optimism. Even so, they’ve a number of challenges, similar to geopolitical tensions, the weak point of the Chinese financial system and the gradual restoration of the European financial system. Despite this, they’re clinging to the tailwinds that may be generated by main sporting occasions, such because the Paris Olympic Games and the European Football Championship in Germany, and the incorporation of synthetic intelligence within the sector.

Lack of employment?

The normal director of the Association of Capital Goods Manufacturers (Sercobe), José Ignacio Mora, highlights the issue of “labour shortage.” “It compromises our future. I'm not talking about talent. I am referring to intermediate level jobs with a certain qualification such as welders, turners, forklift drivers…”, he explains. For this cause, from Sercobe he’s working with the Government of Spain with the goal of finishing up a challenge along with Tanzania and Togo to deliver employees from these nations.

The normal secretary of Industrial Policy of UGT, Juan Antonio Vázquez, rejects Mora's place and factors out that “it is a problem that does not exist.” “I think the industry is digitalizing and new profiles of qualified people are needed to do this type of work,” he says. The union additionally factors out that the discount in industrial manufacturing is because of “the critical situation at the international level.”

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