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Living in Spain’s most expensive region, Madrid, costs 43% more than in its cheapest, Extremadura, according to a study presented by Jaume García, former head of the National Statistics Institute and now a professor at Catalonia’s Pompeu Fabra University.
What’s more, the study, which was commissioned by the Catalan regional government, shows that taking the cost of living into account reduces the disparities in income among the regions.
Without applying any kind of correction, the Basque Country is the Spanish region with the highest GDP per inhabitant (€30,051), while Extremadura has the lowest (€15,133) – a difference of 98%, almost double.
After taking the cost of living into account, the Basque Country remains the region with the highest per capita income (€27,895), but Andalusia moves into last place with €18,058. At the same time, the difference between the top and bottom regions drops from 98% to 54%, according to the report.
The study uses data from 2012 to calculate the purchasing power parity (PPP) of Spain’s different regions – a measure that allows the analysis of an economy’s level of production or wellbeing, cost of living, and poverty while leaving out such factors as variations in prices.
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Nationalized lender Novagalicia has joined BBVA and Cajamar in announcing that it is stripping so-called interest-rate floor clauses from outstanding mortgage contracts, effective as of May 9, the day on which the Supreme Court ruled such conditions to be null and void.
Floor clauses limit the extent to which borrowers can benefit from falls in the benchmark used to set variable-interest mortgages, which in the case of Spain is habitually the one-year Euribor rate.
The Supreme Court determined that within the context of a mortgage contract as a whole such causes included in the fine print of documents lacked the transparency required by the law.
Novagalicia’s decision affects 90,000 contracts and mortgage debt totaling 6.6 billion euros. The bank said it has ceased to issue home loan contracts since the start of 2011.In a statement to the National Securities Commission (CNMV), Novagalicia said if interest rates remain at their current level, the impact of the removal of floor clauses on its earnings would be 48 million euros, the equivalent of 6.7 percent of its net interest income last year.
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The Spanish economy shrank by 0.3pc between July and September, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of contraction.
Spain is buckling under the pressure of a large deficit and a property crash that has left its banks struggling under a mountain of bad loans.
Swingeing spending cuts and tax rises have stifled investment and have left consumers without the money or the will to spend.
The third-quarter data from Spain’s national statistics office was a first estimate of GDP with no detailed breakdown. Despite the decline, it reflected a slightly better performance than the 0.4pc fall in GDP economists had predicted.
However, economists said the figure was likely to have been flattered by consumers bringing forward purchases to beat the VAT rise in September, partly veiling a weak consumer backdrop.
“Domestic demand likely contracted sharply again, despite some spending being pulled forward ahead of the VAT hike,” said Greg Fuzesi, economist at JP Morgan. “Our forecast anticipates an intensification of the Spanish recession at the turn of the year.”
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Banco Santander’s net profit in the first nine months of the year plunged 66 percent from the same period a year earlier to 1.804 billion euros, as Spain’s leading bank stepped up provisions for its exposure to the ailing domestic real estate sector.
Santander said Thursday that in compliance with government decrees issued in February and May of this year it had charged a net 3.476 billion euros against earnings for potential losses from real estate assets, 90 percent of the requirements dictated by the decrees.
The bank said it had reduced its exposure to the real estate sector from 42.5 billion euros at the end of 2008 to 26.5 billion as of the end of September.
Spain has been granted a loan of up to 100 billion euros to clean up the balance sheets of its banks because of their exposure to the property sector, which went into a tailspin around the start of 2008 after a giddy decade-long boom. The government is setting up a bad bank to absorb up to 90 billion euros in toxic assets from the country’s banks, mainly related to the real estate sector.
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