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As can be seen in the following chart, the trendline long-term Spanish exports identified in the chart as current-account revenues have followed an upward trend since the early 2000s, with little significant changes, with the exception of the 2009 crisis and the collapse of international trade suffered. However, the time path of imports has undergone a major deceleration subjected to sluggish domestic demand.
These trends have a twofold explanation: while imports depend on domestic disposable income, and frankly this has been reduced over the years of the crisis and macroeconomic adjustment, exports depend not only on the supply and competitiveness policies internationally but especially in foreign demand. Ie: the growth of international trade and global demand "pull" of the Spanish exports, and make the same rate as it did before the crisis practically. The policies of "supply" related to greater competitiveness are actually based policies in global demand, and not have accelerated in the last stage of adjustment, but, as can be seen in the trend line remains almost the same levels of growth that kept prior to the international crisis.
The actual situation of our external sector is confirmed by assessing the weight of Spanish exports relative to world trade in goods. If Spain had "earned competitiveness", its weight in world trade in goods would have increased accordingly. However, it has not happened.In fact, Spain has lost weight in world trade in goods, reaching to below 2000 levels.'s Hard to conclude that the year 2013 represents a real shift in a country whose productive base can not change in just two or three years, and whose improvement in current account balance is almost entirely due to the reduction in imports linked to lower disposable income.
Meanwhile, the development of imports confirms this intuition: from stagnation crisis is not so much a process of import substitution for the domestic competitiveness gain, as demand repression. Thus, despite its steep decline in 2008 and 2009, the weight of imports has not stopped growing in overall demand.