This article was published in Cámarabilbao, on September 30, 2022.

The data from the Trade Situation Survey of the C.A. of Euskadi, carried out by the Enfokamer Trade Observatory, indicate that the second quarter of 2022 has been marked by a scenario of lower sales in the period compared to the previous quarter. Thus, 45% of businesses state that their sales have been lower compared to the previous quarter, compared to 27.6% who state that they have increased. Non-specialized trade has experienced a greater drop in sales than specialized trade.

Taking into account the historical territories, this situation has had a more negative influence on Bizkaia, followed by Álava and Gipuzkoa. The percentage of shops that saw their sales decrease compared to the first quarter of 2022 in Bizkaia is 51.7%, in Álava 44.9% and in Gipuzkoa it is 35.2%.

When shopkeepers are asked to evaluate their sales with respect to the same period of the previous year, sales fell the most in Gipuzkoa (48.7%), followed by Bizkaia (47.6%) and Álava (46.2%). In this way, 47.8% of Basque businesses consider that the volume of sales has been bad compared to what is usual in the period.

Regarding the prices of supplies, although 20.3% of businesses speak of stability, the trend is upward, given that there are more who see their purchase prices increase (77.6%) than those who see them decrease (2.1%).

In line with the upward trend in supply prices, the declared trend regarding sales prices is to increase prices (57.1%), while those that have maintained prices decrease to 38.9%, and those that reduce prices are 4%. Non-specialized trade is more inflationary than non-specialized trade. In the same way, it is the business in Gipuzkoa that claims to have increased prices to a greater extent (60%), followed by that of Bizkaia (55.7%) and that of Álava (54.8%).

With regard to storage, 9.9% of businesses affirm that they maintain an excessive level of stock. This problem is more frequent in the specialized trade (10.7%) than in the non-specialized trade (3.9%).

Due to this situation with stocks, more businesses anticipate a decrease in their orders to suppliers (47.9%) than those who anticipate increasing said orders (7.8%). This reduction in orders is greater in specialized stores (50.9%) compared to non-specialized stores (25.3%).

With all this, the sales forecasts for the third quarter of 2022 show a slightly negative trend:

10.4% of businesses expect their sales to increase during the following quarter.
31.7% foresee stability.
And 57.9% announce sales in decline.
In this case, trade in Biscay is more pessimistic (63%), than in Alava (57.2%) and Gipuzkoa (50.7%).
And in this scenario of lower sales for the next semester, 33.3% of businesses believe that the situation of their business will worsen. More negative situation in specialized trade (35%) compared to non-specialized (20.9%).
Despite these forecasts, a negative scenario for employment is not expected. 94.1% of businesses plan to maintain their workforce.

69.2% of businesses have perceived a decrease in sales attributable to the increase in inflation, which has affected businesses in Biscay more (71.7%) compared to those in Alava (67.8%) and Gipuzkoans (65 .9%).

Among those who have experienced a drop in sales, 43.8% state that the drop has accounted for between 10% and 20% of sales. More negative situation between specialized trade (44.9%) compared to non-specialized (35.7%).

If you want to expand this information and find out more economic data on the evolution of the sector in the Basque Country during the second quarter of 2022, consult the latest installment of the Commercial Situation Reports prepared by Enfokamer, the Euskadi Trade Observatory, an entity belonging to the Department of Tourism, Trade and Consumption of the Basque Government.