IF YOU FIND THIS ARTICLE INTERESTING, USEFUL OR ENTERTAINING, PLEASE CONSIDER THE WORK, EFFORT AND COST IT TAKES TO BRING IT TO YOU. WE WOULD APPRECIATE A DONATION TO CONTINUE A FREE SERVICE.Spain left behind negative quarterly growth figures at the start of last year but a clear recovery has yet to take root. The Bank of Spain last week estimated GDP was up 0.2 percent in the first quarter, the same pace of growth as in the previous three months, while the INE said the ranks of the unemployed swelled to an unprecedented 4.9 million as the jobless rate hit 21.3 percent.
According to figures released yesterday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Spanish economy looks set to take a renewed turn for the worse. The OECD's composite leading indicators, a forward-looking measure of activity, declined to 103.13 points in March from 103.23 points the previous month.
A breakdown, however, of the INE's latest bankruptcy figures showed that it was the corporate sector whose economic woes increased the most. The number of companies under receivership climbed 8.3 percent to 1,552, while the number of individuals unable to service their debts dropped by 7 percent to 251.
Among the companies, three out of every five in bankruptcy proceedings were small, with annual turnover of undertwo million euros. The real estate sector continued to show the most problematic face of the Spanish economy, accounting for one out of every four bankruptcies. If the construction sector is included, that figure rises to one out of three. After those two sectors, industrial and commercial firms were those most feeling the pinch.
Another feature of the INE report was a jump in the number of compulsory bankruptcies, which jumped almost 20 percent. The INE also said that only 1.6 percent of bankruptcy proceedings initiated in the first quarter were accompanied by a viability program and plan for eventually repaying creditors, suggesting that many companies will eventually be wound up.