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Fiscal year 2018

The economic climate

GDP in real terms grew by 2.6% in 2018, almost half a point less than the previous year. The trend within the year, in year-on-year terms, was downward after the relatively stable growth observed in 2017. Total employment, measured according to the number of full-time equivalent employees, followed a similar trajectory, although with a small rebound at the end of the year, and closed 2018 with an increase of 2.5% compared to 2.9% in 2017. . The slowdown in activity is explained, fundamentally, by the evolution of external demand, which subtracted four tenths from growth.

The economic indicators that are constructed from the information declared to the AEAT by taxpayers abound in the previous diagnosis. The sales of large non-financial companies calendar-corrected and deflated, grew by 3% in 2018, seven tenths less than in 2017. In the first quarter of 2018, growth was maintained close to that at the end of the previous year, but from the second onwards the deceleration became more pronounced. Domestic sales also showed moderation, although less intense, and it was in foreign sales where the slowdown was most noticeable: In the first half of the year they grew relatively stable at around 5%, while in the second half of the year growth was reduced by close to 2 points.

Another indicator of fiscal origin is the number of recipients of work income in Large Companies , which approximates the evolution of salaried employment. In 2018 it grew by 3.1%, half a point below the estimated increase for 2017, thus continuing the downward trajectory that this variable has followed since mid-2017. 

Likewise, Social Security affiliates increased below the previous record (3.1% in 2018 and 3.6% in 2017) and with a profile consistent with the rest of the real indicators: slight slowdown at the beginning of the year and deeper as the year progressed.

For the analysis of income, the variables that must be taken into account are the nominal ones, which include the effect of prices . In 2018 these grew at a similar rate to 2017. In general, all indicators showed growth close to that of the previous year, particularly those related to consumption. This is the case of the household final consumption expenditure deflator (1.6% in 2018, the same as in 2017) and the CPI, both in the general index (1.7% and 2%, respectively) and in the calculated one. without unprocessed foods or energy products, which grew two tenths less than in 2017. Within the year, as happened in 2017, the evolution of prices was marked by the behavior of energy products. In 2017, the rise in these prices occurred in the first half of the year and then relaxed; In 2018, however, the increases were concentrated in the second half of the year. On an annual average, the increase in the two years was, as in the rest of the indicators, approximately the same.

The macroeconomic aggregates most related to the evolution of income are domestic demand at current prices and compensation of employees .  Domestic demand grew by 4.5% in 2018, with a slowdown of two tenths compared to 2017, slightly lower than that shown by real GDP. For its part, the remuneration of employees increased six tenths more than in 2017, up to 4.1%. In an environment of more moderate employment growth, the increase in remuneration is explained by the increase in average salaries which, after years of stagnation, began to rise at the end of 2017 and was consolidated in 2018, especially after the increase in salaries public approved mid-year along with the Budgets.