Toledo (EFE).- Castilla-La Mancha was one of the few autonomous communities that recovered its GDP prior to the pandemic in 2022, registering an increase of 4.8 percent, although a possible recession in the euro zone could slow down this year growth in the region to 1.1%, three tenths below the increase forecast for Spain’s GDP.
This is determined by the latest report “Castilla-La Mancha Situation 2023 by BBVA Research”, which was presented this Tuesday at a telematic press conference by the entity’s chief economist for Spain, Miguel Cardoso.
The study revises upward the growth of regional GDP last year to 4.8%, seven tenths less than that registered at the national level and equal to that of 2021, so it would have been 1.2% higher than that of 2019 , which places it as the first community to recover the pre-pandemic GDP level, along with Galicia and Extremadura.
In turn, Castilla-La Mancha and Aragón are the only two communities that have managed to reach GDP per capita for that year.
“Less dynamic” behavior in the second part of 2022
However, the report estimates that the Castilian-La Mancha economy had a “less dynamic” behavior in the second part of 2022, mainly caused by inflation, uncertainty and less dynamic employment, a trend that will continue at the beginning of the new year. .
The entry into a possible crisis in the Eurozone and the impact that growth in interest rates may have on domestic demand are the causes that will freeze the growth of GDP in this community to 1.1% in 2023, a fall that It is expected to be “short-lived”.
In this way, growth will be 3.3% by 2024, in line with the average for the country as a whole, and activity will “gain traction” with the arrival of European Next Generation funds and when the uncertainties affecting the economy dissipate. the families and companies of Castilla-La Mancha.
31,200 new jobs until 2024
If these forecasts come true, BBVA has emphasized that Castilla-La Mancha will create 31,200 new jobs from 2022 to 2024, as well as reduce the unemployment rate to levels below 13%.
Likewise, the data reflects that consumption in the region fell “slightly” in the last quarter of the year, specifically in those sectors related to leisure and tourism, while spending with foreign cards exceeded the data from before the covid thanks to rural tourism.
As Cardoso explained, the impact on the activity has been less than in other communities because the economy of Castilla-La Mancha does not depend so much on tourism.
The industry has a growth rate similar to the national
Regarding industry, Castilla-La Mancha has maintained the growth rate of the whole of Spain, supported by the dynamism of capital goods and energy.
In contrast, consumer and intermediate goods appear to be “more sensitive to the slowdown” in European demand and the rise in costs derived from the war in Ukraine.
For its part, the community real estate sector registered a drop in sales in the last half of 2022, despite the “strength” of second home transaction operations, which grew the most during the first nine months of 2022. .
Regarding the labor market, enrollment contracted from the third quarter after the strong dynamism observed after the health crisis.
Toledo, Guadalajara and the non-urban areas of the region suffered the greatest adjustment, while the urban areas of Albacete, Cuenca and Ciudad Real were more resilient in the second part of 2022.
Slowdown and uncertainty in 2023
The growth of the economy will be linked to the reduction of uncertainties, such as the resolution of the bottlenecks that reduce industrial activity, a possible extension of the drought or the price of energy, the dilation in time of the war or an eventual confinement in China due to the rebound in coronavirus cases.
Even so, the financial position of Castilian-La Mancha companies and families is “more healthy” to face an environment of “greater volatility” thanks to a higher savings cushion than was available at the beginning of 2008, which will allow cushion the correction in consumption in the coming quarters.
The difficulties in achieving a turning point in both general and subjacent inflation or the sustainability of the region’s public accounts (with a possible deficit that could end up at 1.6% of regional GDP) are other challenges that the regional economy will have to face this year.
“If this situation persists for a long time, it could increase wage tensions, which could be even more intense if the demand for employment associated with European funds produces a shortage of human capital with adequate training,” observes BBVA Research in its report.
Asked if the upcoming elections could influence these economic forecasts, Cardoso pointed out that there is some “uncertainty” in terms of what economic policy can be implemented in the coming months or years.
“At the moment, this uncertainty is quite limited. We believe it is relatively low and should have limited impact” in upcoming announcements