Weekly Geopolitical Report – The New Spain (September 14, 2020)
by Thomas Wash | PDF
Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas is the largest bullfighting arena in Spain and the third largest in the world. Located east of Central Madrid, the arena, with its almost 100-year history, attracts tourists from around the world who want to experience authentic Spanish culture. However, the pandemic has put Plaza de Toros on life support. Not only have lockdown restrictions prevented the arena from opening during peak season, but strict travel bans and quarantine measures will likely halt foreign tourism for the foreseeable future.
Bullfighting is not alone as other tourist destinations were also forced to close due to lockdowns. When the pandemic struck in early March, restrictions limited flights, closed restaurants, suspended hotel reservations, and stopped sporting and theatrical events. The accommodation and food services sector, which makes up a fifth of the Spanish economy, contracted 10% from the prior year. Unemployment claims have risen 29% since February.
As the fourth largest economy in Europe, Spain’s recovery will be critical for the European Union to get out of its economic slump. In this report, we will focus primarily on how the virus is affecting the Spanish economy. We will start our discussion with a broad overview of the economy. With this baseline, we will review the impact the virus has had on the country and possible changes going forward. We will conclude the report with potential market ramifications.