Business leaders want to give new boost to Canary economy
A chamber of commerce is calling for measures to raise the productivity of the Canarian economy.
The Bulletin of Economic Situation of the first quarter of 2019, prepared by Camara of Santa Cruz with the sponsorship of Caixabank, notes that the regional GDP grew by two per cent in comparison with the same period of 2018.
The stability of most of the sectors contrasts with the cooling of the tourism sector, which is experiencing a slight drop in foreign visitors.
Camara says the data points to a gap between provinces; the labour market deteriorates in the eastern islands, while the western ones continue to create employment.
President Santiago Sesé asks for co-ordination between the administrations and the private sector to improve business competitiveness and attack the structural problems of the islands.
Sr. Sesé noted the “robust growth” of the regional eco-nomy during almost six years of recovery but warned of the need to address some of its problems.
“The first challenge we face is to improve productivity,” he said.
The chamber says mea-sures needed to ensure “a solid, balanced and sustai-nable growth” include actions aimed at increasing the size of Canarian companies and increasing their competiti-veness, accelerating the processes of innovation and digitalisation, betting on the continuous training of human resources, introducing regu-latory changes to stimulate business growth, lowering the high levels of structural unem-ployment and encouraging indefinite hiring.
In this quarter, the beha-viour of the labour market has been worse than expected. Unemployment rose by 4.2% in the archipelago between January and March compared to the close of 2018. This means that 2019 has started with 237,000 people unem-ployed, 4.1% more compared to the same period of 2018 (9,300 more people than a year ago), according to the data from the Active Population Survey.
The business sector had already warned of a possible fall in employment in the islands as a result of the slowdown in the global eco-nomy.
Their forecasts have been corroborated also in the decline that has occurred in the number of employed between January and March, with a fall of 20,900. Despite this, the Canary Islands registered 892,500 employees, one of the highest figures in history.
This trend is not exclusive to the archipelago. It is manifested throughout the country, but it is more intense in the islands, where the unemployment rate has increased by 1% to reach 21% of the active population again, while in the whole of Spain it has been located in the region of 14.7%.
In addition, the gap between provinces is evident in this Bulletin. Las Palmas has begun to feel the fall of tourism and registered 23% unemployment compared to 19% in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Likewise, the number of employed persons has been reduced by 5.2% in the eastern province, that is, there are 24,400 employees.