Although still with some caution, but companies are already beginning to see an improvement in the economic situation. Thus, until 38.5% of companies he hopes to overcome this year the turnover 2020 and 21.9% believe they will at least match it, according to the 1st Barometer # EActíVate for the Economic Reactivation of companies and workers, which has surveyed the 840 firms adhering to this initiative led by Mercadona.
According to the study, prepared in collaboration with the Valencian Institute of Economic Research, the industrial sector is the one that foresees a faster recovery, followed by commerce, hospitality and transport; while the sector of the leisure is the most pessimistic, since only 22.5% of their companies expect to increase their turnover in 2021. Therefore, “although the companies in this sector see the recovery soon, given the intensity with which they have suffered the crisis, they are to cost much more to recover the income figure “, they indicate from the organization.
Similarly, although many companies plan to improve their turnover this year, most do not expect to immediately reach the level they had before the crisis. Thus, according to the survey, only one 20% of companies have already recovered their previous billing to the pandemic and 19.4% expect to recover it throughout 2021. Meanwhile, 34.2% believe that the recovery of their turnover will come in 2022.
As a whole, 18.1% of the companies believe that the reactivation of the country’s economy will take place in 2021, while 43.6% delay it to 2022 and 38.3% beyond 2022. By activity sectors, they are business and real estate services companies and those dedicated to cultural activities and recreational companies that see the economic recovery closer.
Regarding the prospects for job recovery in 2021, 29.5% of companies believe that their workforce will increase compared to the level reached in 2020 and, almost half, 47.5%, anticipate maintaining it.
By size, in large companies, more than half already have an employment figure equal to or greater than that of before the crisis. In contrast, in small and micro enterprises, 30% and 24.1%, respectively, do not anticipate recovery before 2022.
20.4% of companies already have a similar investment than before the crisis and 13.4% expect to reach it in 2021. The digitization and new technologies they are, notably, the type of investments that companies will bet on this year. Regardless of their size, 59.9% plan to invest in these areas, followed by training (32.3%) and R & D & i (24.8%).
In relation to the priority measures to accelerate the reactivation of the economy, there is a clear consensus on the importance given to the creation of aid to companies in the most affected sectors due to the crisis (72% of those surveyed chose this option) and also to offer greater ease of doing business, streamlining administrative bureaucracy (62.1%). The improvement of the health situation and support for the digitization of companies are other demands of the respondents.
Beyond the survey, the 1st Barometer # EActíVate has analyzed the evolution of five major areas:
Employability. 14 of the 88 sectors of the Spanish economy create employment in 2020. The impact of the pandemic has been intense on employment, as reflected in the loss of 7.5% of the number of employed persons in 2020. However, 14 of the 88 sectors created effective employment (number of Social Security affiliates excluding workers in ERTE and the self-employed who receive benefits for cessation of activity). These sectors are associated with ICT, e-commerce, agriculture, food processing, retail, and the medical and healthcare sector.
Productivity. Spain it exceeds the European average in digital performance by 5 points. To boost productivity it is necessary to bet on digitization. The DESI index, which measures digital performance, places Spain, with 57.5 points, above the average for the European Union (52.6 points). However, only 20% of companies train their employees in information and communication technologies, so the business fabric must bet on investing in these areas. In the context of the pandemic, many companies have cushioned the impact thanks to adaptation to teleworking. 48.8% have used teleworking during the alarm state compared to 14.8% who did it before.
Reinvent yourself. The year 2020 has been key in the digital transformation of the business fabric. And it is that digitization is not an option, today it is a necessity. The high percentage of Spanish companies with fixed broadband connection fast (82%) and ultrafast (62%), well above the European average (76% and 46%, respectively). The importance of bringing the activity of companies closer to customers allows Spain to approach the EU average in the percentage of companies (non-financial and with more than 10 employees) that have a website, 75%, compared to 77% of the EU.
In addition, our country is the 8th economy in the EU with the highest percentage of companies that have online sales of their products and services, 27%, which means being 6 points above the community average. It is noteworthy that 20.6% of commercial establishments affirm that they will maintain electronic commerce when the pandemic passes.
Within this axis, it stands out that in 2020 companies have made a great effort to innovate, since the number of patent applications increased by 8.9% compared to 2019, reaching 1,479, breaking the trend down from previous years.
Sustainability. The registrations of electric vehicles Plug-in hybrids increased by 84% in 2020. Society’s awareness of this aspect is reflected in the increase in the registration of new electric vehicles by 43%, with the category of plug-in hybrids being the one with the highest increase in registrations, 84% in 2020. There were a total of 12,000 registrations of pure electric vehicles and 14,000 of plug-in hybrids.
Infrastructures. The activation of investment in infrastructure in Spain as a tractor sector for economic reactivation and to improve the competitiveness of companies. For companies to be competitive, they must have adequate infrastructures that allow them to transport their products at the lowest possible cost. The paralysis of economic activity has been reflected in the official public works tender, whose volume has fallen by 11.6% from January to November (latest data available) in 2020 in relation to the same period in 2019. However, Andalusia , Castilla-La Mancha, Catalonia, Galicia and the Valencian Community have increased the amount of the work tendered.
In the words of Paula Llop, responsible for the # EActíVate initiative, “we wanted to make this Barometer to offer a vision of the economic situation of our country from the perspective of effort, its capacity for reinvention and adaptation that businessmen, entrepreneurs, freelancers and workers have done in 2020 and they continue to do. Although much remains to be done for the recovery, it has drawn our attention to note in the data analyzed by the Ivie, the great advances in digitization, innovation and sustainability, despite the difficult times we are experiencing “.
For its part, Joaquin Maudos, deputy director of Ivie, declares with regard to the 2020 results that “it is important to highlight that even in an adverse environment there are companies that have demonstrated resilience, adapting to new conditions and that have taken advantage of the circumstances to drive a digital transformation.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.