SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, August 3 (EUROPE PRESS) –
Retail sales in the islands continued to grow in the second quarter of the year compared to the same quarter of 2021, registering a positive variation of 10.6%, 8.6% higher than the national average variation ( 2%).
All months recorded a positive variation, although a trend of slower growth rate can also be observed by seeing the evolution from 14.6% year-on-year growth in April to 10.2% in May and to be lower than double digits with 7.2% in the month of June.
For the vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and president of the Internal Trade Commission, Victoria Gonzalez, the data shows a positive balance in the first half, with sales growing by 9% from January to June 2022 compared to the same period of 2021, the most positive of all the national territory against a growth of only 0.9% for the whole country.
“The good behavior of tourist activity during the months of April to June compared to the same months of 2021 is the main cause of this annual recovery in sales. However, the slowdown in growth rates over the year and the foreseeable drop in consumption due to the general increase in prices that we are experiencing will affect the purchasing power of Canarian families and that of the tourists who visit us, with negative consequences for the sector in the second half of the year”, said Gonzalez .
In this sense, the cameral institution points to the need to anticipate in order to limit, as far as possible, the expected impacts on consumption, again pointing to the necessary measures that the commercial sector has been calling for for a long time, such as the implementation of an agile feedback from the IGIC on purchases made by non-European tourists as an incentive to consumption.
Likewise, González concluded, “we continue to hope that the government will move forward in eliminating the tax exemption for imports under €150, as is the case in the European Union, including the rest of the national territory, a situation that prevents local businesses from competing on equal terms and that, despite the announcement of the abolition of this measure, it has not yet materialized, putting the vast majority of commercial businesses in the He is “.
For his part, from Cajasiete, its director of institutional relations and communication, José Manuel Garrido, indicated that “from the entity we are concerned about the symptoms of a slowdown in the growth rate that we are observing in recent months These data, together with a scenario of high inflation, rising interest rates and the general uncertainty that is beginning to discount declining business confidence, in addition to falling household disposable income and liquidity of companies and freelancers who are already experiencing quite tense situations balance figures and in a scenario that is still recovering from the crisis caused by the pandemic which has not yet reached the figures of 2019. The tourism sector, due to its weight in the Canarian economy, will play a key role in this last part of the year in order to curb the fall in the figures of the commercial sector.It will also be necessary to anticipate all the specific aid measures. ues so they can help cushion the slowdown.”
The two representatives underlined in their speech the importance of not losing the ground gained in the last year after the negative impact that the pandemic has left on the productive fabric and employment in the sector, of which there is no is not yet delivered. In fact, in the Canary Islands, in June, there were a total of 13,948 companies registered with social security with a dependent worker in commercial activities, including vehicle repair. A figure that represents an annual increase of 1.1%, or 151 more companies than in June 2021, mainly due to the increase in retail trade (98), since wholesalers and car repair progressed less, respectively 50 and 3 more companies. If we compare them to the number of companies before the pandemic, we see that the recovery is still incomplete with 912 less than at the end of 2019.
If we look at labor market indicators, we also see a significant recovery in employment. The retail trade occupancy index, prepared by the INE, maintains in the second quarter the positive variation that began at the end of 2021 and shows an increase of 4.4% compared to the same quarter of last year, i.e. also 2.1 points more than the national (2.3%).
Likewise, the average number of Social Security affiliates in the commercial branch of activity during the second quarter recorded a significant increase of 4.6% compared to the previous year. As of June 30, the number of Canarian trade affiliations reached 154,709, a figure that represents 6,571 more affiliates than a year ago, but 3,706 less than those existing in February 2020, just before the pandemic.
On the other hand, for the number of unemployed registered with employment offices, the average for the second quarter accentuates the decline that began in 2021 (-29.3%). At the end of June, there were 31,383 registered unemployed in the market sector, 13,200 less than a year ago.
RISE IN PRICES PUT THE RECOVERY IN DANGER
There is no doubt that inflation, which will be more persistent than expected, will affect the consumption capacity of families and tourists, which will result in a moderation in sales during the summer months and especially in the last quarter of the year. year in which we will have to wait and see whether or not trade manages to maintain the figures of the 2021 Christmas campaign, the first recovery after COVID-19.
The rise in the cost of fuel and fuel, and especially energy, affects all goods and services in the shopping basket, as evidenced month by month by the rise in underlying inflation. Looking at certain groups, we can see how “Food and non-alcoholic beverages” saw an annual increase of 13.3% in June in the Canary Islands, 0.4 points more than the national average (12.9%); that of “Alcoholic beverages and tobacco” increased by 3.1% compared to June 2021, while at the national level it increased by 4.1%; the group of “Clothing and footwear” fell by 2.6% in the Islands and increased by 2.4% at the national level and that of “Furniture, household items and routine household maintenance items” recorded an increase in the Islands of 6% and 6.5% nationally.
For the moment, the business confidence indicator is showing a positive trend, up 5.8% in the survey carried out in July. The balance of the situation or difference between the favorable and unfavorable answers on the behavior of the activity during the second quarter of the year showed a negative value with a higher percentage of companies declaring to have reduced their activity (25% ), which is normal after the season of Kings and discounts, than those that have experienced increases (23%). Looking ahead to the summer, the percentage of companies anticipating a favorable development increases to 25.7%, and that which estimates a deterioration in activity (26.2%) also increases, although to a lesser extent. The expectations balance considerably attenuates the negativity recorded since the beginning of 2019 and stands at only -0.5%.