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Tuesday, October 23, 2012 2:48 PM


Spanish Home Loans Plunge 28.5% to Record Lows; Brussels Revises Spain’s Deficit Upward to 9.4% of GDP


The implosion in Spain continues, with the budget deficit heading in reverse, now revised up to 9.4% of GDP. [Correction: 9.4% was upward revision for 2011. The upward revision for 2012 is "only" 7.3%]

Spain's original deficit target for 2012 was 4.4%, then revised to 5% then 5.3%. Yet another revision brought the target all the way up to 6.3%. So how is Spain doing? A few flashbacks will explain.

On April 10 I optimistically wrote Inconsistencies in Spain's Budget Suggest Deficit will be 7% not 5.3%

"I have been saying for what seems like forever that Spain would not makes its budget. It won't, and we have a starting point for how bad it might get."

Indeed "starting point" was the operative phrase as 7% was reached by June.

On June 26, I wrote Spain Has Budget Deficit of 3.41% of GDP Through May (Not Counting Regional Governments); Target for Entire Year was 3.5%

That brief moment of 7% did not last long.

On September 21 I wrote Spain's Fiscal Deficit 8.56% of GDP in First Half; Impossible Second Half Targets.

That did not last long either.

Brussels Revises Spain’s Deficit Upward to 9.4% of GDP

Today we learned from El Pais English edition that Brussels Revises Spain’s Deficit Upward to 9.4% of GDP

The European Union’s statistics office, Eurostat, on Monday said it had revised Spain’s public deficit for last year upward from 8.5 percent of GDP to 9.4 percent to reflect state injections of capital into nationalized banks.

That put Spain on a par with Greece and only behind Ireland, whose shortfall was 13.4 percent of GDP, in the EU. In contrast the average deficit in the EU fell to 4.4 percent of GDP, down from 6.5 percent in 2010, while the shortfall in the euro zone declined to 4.1 percent from 6.2 percent. Seven countries in the EU had deficits above the bloc’s ceiling of 3 percent of GDP.

Eurostat also revised the deficit for Spain for 2010 upward from 9.3 percent to 9.7 percent to reflect unpaid bills by the public administrations. “The increase in the deficit for 2010 is mainly due to the previously unrecorded unpaid bills in the state and local government sub-sectors,” Eurostat said. “The increase in the deficit for 2011 is mainly due to the reclassification of capital injections by the central government in Catalunya Caixa Bank, NCG Bank and Unnim Bank.”
Optimistic Nonsense

The article continues with blatantly optimistic nonsense from the IMF and even more absurd statements from Spanish officials.

"Given the weak state of the Spanish economy, which is expected to contract 1.5 percent this year and 1.3 percent next year, the IMF has thrown doubt on the government’s ability to meet its deficit-reduction target for this year and the following, which is 4.5 percent of GDP. The IMF believes Spain will not be able to meet the 3-percent target until 2017, although the government has pledged to do so by 2014."

The IMF targets are ridiculous enough, but Spain's likelihood of achieving its government pledge of 3% by 2014 are simply laughable.

Spanish Home Loans Plunge 28.5% to Record Lows

Also from El Pais English edition, please consider Home loans granted drop to record lows
The number of home loans granted by lenders in Spain fell to their lowest levels on record in August as tight credit conditions and high unemployment continued to depress the mortgage market despite a fall in prices.

According to figures released Monday by the National Statistics Institute (INE), the number of loans disbursed fell 13.1 percent from July and 28.5 percent from August 2011 to 21,106, the lowest figure since the INE began compiling the current series in 2003.

According to official figures released last week, house prices have fallen 25 percent from their peaks at the start of 2008. Experts reckon they will have to fall more to clear an estimated pile of 670,000 new housing units built up over a decade-long boom that came to an abrupt halt around the start of 2008.

Apart from a lack of liquidity, the country’s banks are also grappling with a jump in loan defaults as the country slipped back into recession. Non-performing loans in the banking sector hit a record high of 10.5 percent of total lending in August.
Reflections on Non-Performing Loans

With non-performing loans at 10.5% expect more bank bailouts while noting that Spain's injection of capital into banks is the reason for the latest jump in debt-to-GDP ratios.

The sane thing to do would be to simply let failed banks fold, but instead governments bail out the banks at taxpayer expense.

Finally, the official stats of a mere 25% drop in home prices since the peak, are a believable as the tooth fairy.

Addendum: 

That 9.4% was an upward revision for 2011.
Reader Bran informs me that 2012 is only up to 7.3% but various officials still claim for 6.3%.

From Libre Mercado: Montoro contradicts the compliance deficit in 2012

"Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro claims in Congress that Spain will reduce the deficit to 6.3% of GDP in 2012, but communicates to Brussels to be located at 7.3%."

With first-half deficit of 8.56% the target of 6.3% is of course impossible.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com

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