The goal of the European Central Bank (ECB) is to return inflation to 2%. A target he predicts will not be reached until 2025, when it will be 2.1%. For this reason, the supervisor increases rates, causing activity to slow down and access to finance to become more expensive. Tightening access to finance is already noticeable, both at the household and business level. However, This increase in borrowing and lending costs does not affect the activities of Spanish companies.
This is one of the conclusions of the “Survey of Spanish companies on the evolution of their activities: third quarter 2023”. Economic Bulletin of the Bank of Spain. Just under 15% of companies say access to external finance had a negative impact on their performance in the third quarter. A percentage that currently remains stable compared to previous quarters) and without major differences between sectors. That is, few companies are seeing a decline in their activity due to higher financing costs.
Credit demand and supply continued to cool, although at a slower pace than in the previous three months, in line with financial institutions’ expectations, the ECB said, based on second-quarter data. In this sense, the survey shows that between April and June, the grant criteria and general conditions applied to new loans continued to tighten across the board for the fifth consecutive quarter.
While they see no impact on tighter access to finance, companies do see a slight rebound in the negative impact of policy uncertainty on their operations. However, the scale of the negative impact of this factor will still be very close to its historical minimum.
Overall, companies saw their turnover decline in the third quarter of 2023, following a slight increase in the previous quarter. Billing fell across all sectors except tourism and information and communications services. There are signs of a pause in the deflationary process in the third quarter, both in production costs and in selling prices. Annual expectations point to a slight recovery in inflation pressures, particularly in intermediate consumption prices.
In terms of operating conditions this quarter, the results show an increase in the proportion of companies that were negatively impacted by rising energy costs. In particular, andPercentage of companies reporting a negative impact from increases in the cost of these resources increases to 65%, up 9 percentage points from three months ago, after declining in the first half of the year. In manufacturing industries, the increased negative impact of this factor is general, but it is observed somewhat more intensely in transport and the hotel business.
The third quarter results show, as in the previous two editions, the further loss of relevance of lack of demand as a limiting factor in billing. Only 15% of companies say that this circumstance negatively affects their activities. this is the lowest value since the study was launched. However, in manufacturing sectors, this factor has a more adverse impact on industry and trade. In contrast, in the information and communications sector and in professional and administrative activities, demand conditions continued to be more favorable in the third quarter.
Regarding other supply factors, the negative impact of difficulties in obtaining supplies from conventional suppliers remained stable in the third quarter. In particular, this element is cited as an unfavorable factor by 16% of surveyed companies, which is consistent with the previous quarter and almost 20 percentage points below the peak reached in the third quarter of 2022.
AgainstThe prevalence of labor availability problems continues to worsen. The existence of difficulties in this area is shared by 39% of companies, which is almost 5 percentage points more than three months ago. Across business sectors, the challenges continue to be particularly pronounced in hospitality and construction, where more than 50% of companies say they are affected. Given the increasing incidence of such difficulties, this quarter’s survey included two additional questions asking collaborating companies experiencing such difficulties to provide more detailed information on this issue.
Source: El Independiente