The pandemic has sunk the collection in Girona of Value Added Tax (VAT), one of the main taxes collected by the State. VAT is the indirect tax levied on the final domestic consumption of products and services produced inside and outside the country, and therefore one of the main indicators for measuring the impact of COVID on consumption. In this sense, according to data from the Tax Agency, the provincial delegation of this body collected a total of 1,113 million euros of gross VAT from March 2020 (start of the pandemic) until March 2021. This means 14% less than the 1,297 million collected in the same period of the previous year, which translated into absolute figures represents 183.6 million euros.
The drop reflects the restrictions of the pandemic for consumption in Girona. This year, however, the trend is different. Consumer confidence rose 4.7 points in April compared to the previous month, to 77.8 points, its best figure since February 2020 in Spain as a whole, just before the arrival of the pandemic, as reported this Wednesday by the Center for Sociological Research (CIS).
With this advance, consumer confidence has chained three consecutive months of rises after having risen just over 10 points in February and 7.1 points in March.
Values similar to 2013
Despite the increase recorded in April, the indicator continues to have values similar to those obtained in late 2013 and early 2014.
According to data collected by Europa Press, the rise in confidence in April is due to the increase in 4.7 points of the assessment made by citizens on the current situation and the increase in their expectations also in 4 , 7 points.
Specifically, the current situation indicator stood at 48.1 points in April, while the expectations indicator improved to 107.4 points, exceeding the 100-point barrier for the second month in a row.
The ICC collects monthly the assessment of recent developments and the expectations of Spanish consumers related to the family economy and employment, with the aim of anticipating their consumption decisions. The indicator shows values between 0 and 200, considering that above 100 the perception is positive and below, negative.
Expectations about the economy
According to the CIS, the advance of the current situation indicator to 48.1 points is due to the rise in 7 points of the assessment made by consumers on the current state of the economy, as well as the increase by 5.6 points in the assessment of the labor market situation, and by 1.6 points in the perception of the current situation of households. In all three cases, the best ratings have been achieved since March last year.
Regarding the components of the indicator of expectations, the biggest rise occurs in the assessments on the immediate future of the economy, with 8.7 points more, followed by the expectations on the labor market (+6 points). In the case of expectations about the future evolution of households, consumer valuation drops by half a point.
The CIS observed in April an increase in consumer expectations of 4.4 points compared to March, as well as a decrease of 1.3 points in savings expectations. For its part, inflation fears are down 3.4 points, while expectations of a future rise in interest rates are up 3.4 points in the fourth month of the year.
Since April 2020, consumer confidence has increased 27.9 points, an increase of 16.9 points for the current situation index and a gain of 39.1 points in expectations.