Photo: Consumer confidence in Spain
Spain’s ICC consumer confidence index dipped in July to its lowest level since the monthly survey was launched, the official Center for Sociological Research said Friday.
The ICC, which is based on a scale of 0 to 200, came in last month at 37.6 points, down 13 points from June and 36 points from July 2011.
The sub-index measuring consumers’ view of the current economic situation fell last month to 24.3, while the expectations sub-index plunged by more than 20 points to 50.8.
Any reading below 100 points is considered negative.
More than 60 percent of those surveyed said their families’ finances had deteriorated over the previous six months, and 48.4 percent expect things to get worse in the next six months.
Two-thirds said they struggle to make it to the end of the month without running out of money.
Almost 89 percent of respondents characterized Spain’s present economic situation as bad and 71.5 percent foresee a further decline.
A majority said they expect both inflation and interest rates to rise in 2013.
Spain’s jobless rate stands at 24.6 percent overall and more than 53 percent among people under 25.
The conservative government projects that the economy, already officially in recession for the second time in three years, will contract by 1.5 percent in 2012.
Spain’s gross domestic product will shrink by an estimated 0.5 percent next year before a recovery gets underway in 2014, according to projections announced two weeks ago by Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro,
In a report released last Friday, the International Monetary Fund took a more pessimistic view, forecasting that Spanish GDP will decrease by 1.2 percent next year and continue contracting in 2014.