Published on Thursday, November 26, 2020

Spain | Imports are weathering COVID-19

Imports have been less affected by COVID-19 than expected. In the first half of the year, the adjustment shifted to goods produced within the country and, to a lesser extent, on purchases from the rest of the world. Similarly, during the recovery process, the momentum of imports is proving to be more moderate.

Key points

  • Key points:
  • Spain has been one of the countries worst hit by the crisis, with historical drops in activity and employment. The decline in demand, the nosedive in sales abroad and the all-but cancelation of tourist services have all contributed to this weakening.
  • The crisis has also affected imports, but less than expected. In the first half of the year, the decline in purchases from the rest of the world was considerably lower than expected, with the adjustment mainly shifting to goods produced within the country.
  • The first wave of the crisis was seen as temporary, largely affecting the demand for durable consumer goods and tourism services.
  • The prospects of a recovery were thwarted in September by outbreaks of the pandemic. However, the good news about vaccines, if it plays out as expected, could lead to a rebound in the worst hit sectors in 2021, with domestic demand gaining momentum and imports growing modestly.

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