The Economic and Social Council presented its report to parliament on Thursday. | @ParlamentIB

Carmen Planas, the acting president of the Economic and Social Council, said on Thursday that the Covid-19 crisis in the Balearics is having "disastrous effects" in economic, social and welfare terms.

At a presentation in the Balearic parliament, Planas observed that the negative consequences of the pandemic are being felt "much more acutely" in the Balearics than in other regions. The lack of control of the pandemic is creating a situation of "great uncertainty", meaning that it will be necessary to analyse the capacity of the Balearic economy's "resistance" for the remainder of this year and over the coming years.

The Council's annual report indicates that the Balearics and the Canaries suffered the greatest losses of employment between March and May this year. The report notes that the Balearic government estimate for the second quarter is a 40% fall in GDP, making the Balearics the region most affected by the pandemic.

The report contrasts the current situation with recent years. Between 2016 and 2018, economic growth in the Balearics surpassed European Union and Spanish levels. In 2019, however, growth rates in the Balearics and Spain were both around two per cent. There was, therefore, economic slowdown in the Balearics.

With regard to the labour market, there was strong recovery between 2014 and 2017, but a "clear" slowdown in growth in 2018 and 2019. Last year, for instance, employment growth in the construction sector was 4.4%, whereas in services this was 1.7%; and this was lower than for general industry.

The average salary in the Balearics in 2019 was 1,873 euros per month, which was 82 euros below the national average and placed the Balearics eighth among Spain's regions.