These are the great economic losers of the process in Catalonia: Economy and business

Although Catalonia is gaining relevance these days due to the pardons of the procés leaders, there are consequences linked to its economy that have already been definitively entrenched in the autonomous community and these will not disappear by decree.

After the attempted secession, the economic momentum shown in the past has waned. Catalonia, although it is one of the most important communities in the Spanish territory, in terms of GDP, lost its leadership in favor of the Community of Madrid in 2017.

From that moment, the data for Catalonia they don’t seem to be as bright as you might expect. Regardless of whether we refer to a stage of economic expansion or recession, the data related to the progress of its economy and its business fabric are relatively bad.

An economic growth that has ceased to lead

One of the most important variables to measure the dynamism of the economy is the advance of GDP. Catalonia enjoyed years ago being a leading economy in the Spanish territory. But the process has changed everything, 2016 was the last year in which Catalonia’s growth (3.4%) was ahead of the national average (3%).

In the following years, Spain grew more than Catalonia. To be considered a locomotive is today a caboose.

  • 2017: Spain (+ 3%), Catalonia (2.8%).
  • 2018: Spain (+ 2.4%), Catalonia (2.2%).
  • 2019: Spain (+ 2%), Catalonia (1.8%).
  • 2020: Spain (-10.8%), Catalonia (-11.5%).
Growth Cat

As we have commented, Madrid surpassed Catalonia in the economic weight over the Spanish territory. Since then a positive differential has accumulated in the evolution of its GDP for the capital of Spain.

  • 2017: Madrid (+ 4%), Catalonia (2.8%).
  • 2018: Madrid (+ 3%), Catalonia (2.2%).
  • 2019: Madrid (+ 2.6%), Catalonia (1.8%).
  • 2020: Madrid (-10.3%), Catalonia (-11.5%).

If we focus on the average income per consumption unit (with imputed income) reflected in the Living Conditions Survey (LCA), we see that the average income of Madrilenians is already the second in the national territory with 24,036 euros (in 2019 it surpassed the Navarrese), while that of the Catalans is 22,630 euros, the fourth in the national territory.


The company is going down in Catalonia

In 2016, Catalonia was setting up 21,950 companies while 102,395 companies were being created throughout Spain. At that moment, 21.4% of the companies incorporated were Catalan and while Spain advanced in constitutions by + 7.82%, the dynamism of Catalonia was + 16.39% compared to the previous year.

Yes in 2017 we saw how the data was turned around. Catalonia was -15.03% less than the previous year, forming 18,652 companies and Spain 94,998 (-7.22%). Catalonia lost weight to 19.6% of the companies incorporated.

In 2018 the differences grow. Spain constitutes 96,015 companies, which represents an increase of 1.1%, but Low Catalonia, the companies started up are 17,717, a decrease of 5%, weighing 18.4% of the total.

2019 was a year to catch air for Catalonia compared to the rest of Spain. If 94,840 companies were created globally with a loss of 1.2%, Catalonia advanced by 3% to 18,240 constitutions, 19.2% of the total.

The 2020 crisis has been particularly hard for Catalonia. In the state as a whole, 80,134 companies were created (-15.51%) and in autonomy it was 15,031 companies (-17.59%), 18.75% of the total.


In the years of the procés, the spectacular fright of companies that left Catalonia was striking. Between the months of October 2017 and March 2018, a total of companies that accounted for almost 44,000 million euros in turnover left (84.5% went to Madrid). However, years later the dripping has not stopped, companies have continued to leave.

Fact Em

For example, in 2019, 624 offices entered and 948 left with a negative balance of 324, the highest in the national territory. In 2020, 516 locations were transferred to Catalonia, but 666 left, with a negative balance of 150 locations, again, the worst data among the autonomous communities.


According to the study of INFORMA D&B, Catalonia continues to lead in the total number of companies. About 19% of the total, ranking ahead of Madrid, which accounts for 14.25%. This is based on the largest number of self-employed registered in Catalonia compared to Madrid. The number of registered foreign self-employed is also higher in Catalonia.

On the other hand, Madrid has more mercantile companies, which may explain the presence of more large and medium-sized companies in this community, based on the merit of Madrid and Barcelona’s inability to attract investment.


For this reason, the turnover registered in Madrid is around 700,000 million euros while the Catalan is around 301,000 million and the Result before taxes reflects a greater duality: 54,500 million euros for Madrid and 18,900 million for Catalonia, a third part.

Source: El Blog Salmón by

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