Pandemic lockdown sees Spanish factories post worst slump since 2009

Pandemic lockdown sees Spanish factories post worst slump since 2009
Photo: AFP
Spanish industrial output fell by more than nine percent last year, its biggest plunge since 2009, owing to the coronavirus pandemic and a strict lockdown, official figures showed Monday.

Data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) showed that output collapsed by 9.4 percent in 2020.

In 2009, Spanish factory output plunged by 15.6 percent.     

The latest figures nonetheless also showed a slight upturn at the year's end, with December posting a 1.1-percent increase from the previous month owing to a pick up in energy production.

“The health crisis caused by Covid-19 caused different industrial sectors to suffer acutely from the pandemic in 2020 with significant reductions in production, especially in March, April, May and June,” INE said in reference to the months under lockdown.   

The biggest slump was recorded in consumer goods and business equipment, while perishable consumer goods and energy were the least affected.   

As the country emerged from the lockdown in June, factory output picked up even although the recovery was staggered in different sectors, with a noticeable rise in consumer durables and business equipment.

Intermediate goods that are used in manufacturing have also done well, and in fact exceeded output levels posted in 2019.   

Spain's economy contracted sharply by 11 percent in 2020, one of the eurozone's worst results, with its key tourism sector battered by the pandemic.    

The annual output figure was largely in line with the government's forecast, while the International Monetary Fund had expected a sharper contraction of 12.8 percent.

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