The Fedea economics think tank has issued its latest bulletin about the Covid crisis and indicates that the effects of the pandemic on economic activity and public accounts have "bottomed out".
The Foundation for Applied Economics Studies, which is based in Madrid, highlights the sectors which have been most badly affected, e.g. tourism, hospitality, entertainment and sport, but believes that there is an "incipient recovery process", for which "good use" needs to be made of European funds.
In the second quarter, Fedea observed a "clear recovery", with a ten-point improvement for the global activity index based on GDP. Certain industries, such as construction, experienced a notable improvement: a doubling of the relative production index. However, others remained extremely low: retail, transport and hospitality were barely exceeding 50% of normal levels of activity.
In July, Fedea notes, sectors within the tourism industry were showing losses of up to two-thirds of normal occupancy. In addition, they were "seriously threatened" by increases in rates of infection and by travel restrictions. In territorial terms, the regions most affected were as would have been expected - the likes of the Balearic and the Canaries because of the high dependence on tourism.
Although tax revenues continue to worsen due to the lag between activity and collection, Fedea draws attention to a "significant" reduction in spending on unemployment benefits and similar contingencies. Consumer activity meanwhile has begun to revive after lockdown.
While short-term unemployment has fallen notably, long-term unemployment has increased by almost 17% since February (280,000 people nationwide). As with previous economic crises, Fedea warns that "one of the most socially costly and difficult problems to solve is being reproduced again".