20 February 2004
MADRID – Spending by Spanish families is expected to increase this year by three percent, a report said Friday.
It will be the third year spending has increased and comes against a background of an upward trend in the Spanish economy.
According to the latest study by the Caixa Catalunya bank, called ‘Household Consumption and Economy’, household spending by Spanish families went up by 2.6 percent in 2002.
It increased by 2.8 percent in 2003, and is expected to rise by 3 percent in 2004.
The gradual improvement of the Spanish economy has fuelled household spending since 2001.
Spending in the autonomous communities – or regions – of Andalusia, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Valencia, Madrid, Ceuta and Melilla has increased more than the national average since 2003.
The study points to family income, a buoyant labour market and the positive impact of the income tax reforms as indicators for increased household spending.
It also says low interest rates, increased housing prices and improved stock market indices have encouraged spending.
The 2003 figures, analysed by Caixa Catalunya, show a regional consolidation in household spending, which will be confirmed with the expected 2004 results.
Heading the list are Madrid, Cantabria and Extremadura, while the Balearics and the Canaries trailed due to the poor results achieved by their tourism sectors and falling employment levels.
The expected average figure for 2004 is a 2.8 percent increase, which will only be surpassed by Valencia, Andalusia, Madrid, Cantabria, Extremadura, the Canaries, Castilla-La Mancha and La Rioja.
But the performance of the Basque Country, Castilla y León, Asturias, Galicia, Navarra, Catalonia and Aragón is expected to show a downturn.
However, with only a 2 percent increase, the Balearics are expected to generate the lowest growth in Spain.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news