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The BBVA Foundation and the Ivie have updated the capital stock database with regional data by assets and sectors now provided for the first time
2009 saw the first decline in accumulated capital since 1964, although there was a slight recovery in 2010

Since the crisis began, the investment rate has decreased to such an extent it has led to a significant slowdown in capital accumulation. According to the latest information available in the database El stock y los servicios del capital en España y su distribución territorial, for the first time since 1964 (when estimates of the series began) there was a dramatic fall in the levels of nominal net capital (wealth) in 2009 amounting to 80 billion Euros, although 2010 did see a slight recovery.

95% of this reduction was due to the process of adjusting residential assets (price and quantity) after the housing bubble burst. The remaining 5% has its origin in the behaviour of machinery and equipment, assets most directly related to production. However, in real terms there has not been a decline in absolute values thanks to the downward adjustment of prices, but rather a slowdown in the rate of growth, from an annual average rate of growth of 4% in the expansive period to 2.5 % in the period of crisis.

The following are some of the main results that the data show:

  • In the period 1995-2010, productive capital grew more in Spain than both total net capital and non-residential net capital. This stems from the increase in assets linked to new technologies which are generally more productive and make a greater contribution to economic growth.
  • Although the crisis starting at the end of 2007 has had devastating consequences on employment and production, these effects are not yet noticeable in the capital available to the economy. There has been an adjustment in the degree of use of stock but it is still available to be used when circumstances permit.
  • A revision in terms of regions demonstrates once again that there is broad regional diversity in Spain, linked to historic characteristics that define size, as well as geographic and economic characteristics.
Regional detail

For the first time, the BBVA Foundation-Ivie database offers detail by type of asset and branch of activity for Spain, autonomous communities and provinces. The most relevant features of the accumulation of capital which has taken place in these areas over more than four decades is summarized in the working paper El stock y los servicios del capital en España y su distribución territorial y sectorial (1964-2010), published by the BBVA Foundation and available on their website. This paper includes a description of the results of each autonomous community for 2009.

Regional data show the following:

  • Castile - La Mancha is the autonomous community that made the greatest investment effort between 1995 and 2009, especially as a result of the significant weight of residential investment, the highest of all the autonomous communities. Other regions in which investment in housing played an important role were Murcia and the Balearic Islands, while Madrid and Extremadura stand out in terms of investment in ICT assets.
  • Almost 34% of net capital stock can be found in Catalonia and the community of Madrid, the two regions with more economic weight in Spain, while almost 29% is concentrated in the provinces of Madrid and Barcelona.
  • The region with the highest net capital endowments per capita is Navarre, followed by the community of Madrid, the Balearic Islands and Catalonia.
  • Public infrastructure in Spain saw an annual growth rate of 4% over the period 1995-2009, with considerable differences between regions. The community of Madrid was the region with the highest annual growth rate of 6.7%, followed by Catalonia with 4.9%.
  • With regard to investment in machinery and non-ICT equipment which together with investment in new technologies, play the most crucial role in economic growth, the Balearic Islands (7%), Murcia (6.9%) and Andalusia (5.6%) showed the strongest growth of capital in these assets over the period 1995-2009.
  • In terms of accumulation in capital linked to new technologies, the highest growth rates corresponded to Murcia (12.9%), the Balearic Islands (11.5%), Castile - La Mancha (11.3%) and Andalusia (11.3%).

Further information:

Database El stock y los servicios del capital en España y su distribución territorial
Working paper El stock y los servicios del capital en España y su distribución territorial y sectorial (1964-2010). Data by Regions (2009).