Spain

Spain and Morocco are ready to overcome years of strained diplomatic relations with new business and energy deals, while ties between France and the North African nation remain frosty, Bloomberg News reported. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is planning to announce Thursday an €800 million ($869 million) credit line for Spanish investments in Morocco and 20 agreements that range from developing renewable energy to building water desalinization plants.
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Spanish inflation unexpectedly quickened in January after a five-month run of slowing price growth, prompting traders to boost their bets on how high the European Central Bank will raise interest rates, Bloomberg News reported. Consumer prices advanced by 5.8% from a year ago, up from the previous month’s 5.5% increase, the statistics institute in Madrid said Monday. That’s well above the 4.8% median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists, though the predictions ranged from 3.8% to 6.5%.
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Spain will seek European Union permission to extend its temporary cap on reference prices for natural gas and coal used by power plants until at least the end of 2024, Energy Minister Teresa Ribera said on Monday, Reuters reported. The so-called Iberian mechanism, in place in Spain and Portugal after the two countries reached a deal with the European Commission in the spring of 2022, is a joint scheme through which fossil fuel plants' power costs are subsidised in a bid to bring down soaring electricity prices.
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The number of people registering as jobless in Spain fell slightly in December from a month earlier, ending 2022 at a 15-year low, data from the Labour Ministry showed on Tuesday, Reuters reported. The number of jobless fell by 1.52%, or by 43,727 people, leaving 2.84 million people out of work. It is the lowest rate since 2007, when 2.2 million were out of work. "This data shows that labour protection measures are working," Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz said in a post on Twitter.
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Spanish retail sales fell 0.6% in November from a year earlier on a seasonally and calendar-adjusted basis, after rising 1.0% in October, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said on Thursday, Reuters reported. As shoppers grapple with the rising cost of living exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, food sales in Spain recorded an annual decrease of 3.6% in November, INE said. Meanwhile, sales of other goods grew 0.5% year-on-year.
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Spain's trade deficit in the first six months of the year widened almost six-fold from the same period a year earlier to 32 billion euros ($32.6 billion), the Industry Ministry said on Thursday, Reuters reported. The outcome was wider than the deficit for the whole of 2021 and compared with a 5.4 billion euro deficit in the first six months a year ago, the ministry said in its monthly report. Excluding energy imports and exports, the trade deficit in the period was 6.1 billion euros, the ministry said.
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Spain will impose new taxes on large banks and energy companies, wresting billions of euros from business to fund policies to ease the impact of record inflation on consumers, Bloomberg News reported. The levies on both financial institutions and energy firms will last for two years. The government expects the former to raise about 1.5 billion euros ($1.5 billion) per year, while the windfall tax on energy firms, which have benefited from surging prices, will collect 2 billion euros a year.
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The Spanish government has rejected state aid for Abenewco1, a unit of Spanish engineering and energy group Abengoa, moving it closer to bankruptcy proceedings, Reuters reported. The company had requested a temporary state aid package worth 249 million euros ($263 million) to stay afloat while it evaluates a takeover bid from Los Angeles-based private equity fund TerraMar Capital LLC worth 200 million euros. A source from Spain's state vehicle SEPI said that because the viability of the company and the repayment of the loan were not guaranteed, the firm was not subject to state aid.
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Spanish 12-month inflation rose to 10.2% in June, the first time it has surpassed 10% since April 1985, from 8.7% in the previous month, preliminary data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed on Wednesday, Reuters reported. Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, rose to 5.5% year-on-year from 4.9% a month earlier, the highest since August 1993, the INE data showed. Spanish European Union-harmonised inflation was 10.0% in the 12 months through June, up from 8.5% a month earlier.
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Spain's jobless number dropped below 3 million in May for the first time since early in the 2008/09 global financial crisis, as the economy's recovery from the impact of COVID-19 boosted hirings and pushed many workers out of the shadow economy, Reuters reported. The number of people registering as jobless fell 3.29% from April, leaving 2.92 million people out of work, the lowest number since November 2008, Labour Ministry data showed on Thursday. Spain added 33,366 net jobs during the month, separate data from Social Security Ministry showed.
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