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According to the Catalan business department, the wave of companies moving their registered head offices out of Catalonia had a "null economic impact". In fact, in 2017, the number of companies headquartered in Catalonia increased by 9,385, reaching a total of 618,366, 1.5% more than the year before, according to figures presented today by the Catalan business and skills minister, Àngels Chacón. Between October 2017 and 31st July 2018, a total of 3,700 CIF (fiscal identification codes) moved their registered head offices, 0.59% of all those in Catalonia, but this "had no impact on the level of production".

The minister explained that "not all CIF belong to businesses" and, as such, "these 3,700 correspond to 2,501 business decisions". In other words, to quote Chacón, "it's a matter of 2,501 companies and not the 3,000 or 4,000 the Spanish state said". The report also shows that "since May the trend of leaving registered headquarters has been decreasing, tending to a normalisation", as was seen in August. 


Graph: El Nacional / Data: INE 

As such, "Catalonia continues leading the Spanish state in number of companies with registered headquarters there", the minister says, 18.5% of all businesses. In fact, "2017 has been the year which recorded the most arrivals to Catalonia of CIF coming from the rest of the Spanish state", a total of 660 incoming. 


Graph: El Nacional / Data: INFORMA/Departament d'Empresa i Coneixement

What companies have left?

Of these 3,700 CIF, the great majority (80%) are micro or small businesses from the service sector. 12.2% of those which moved work in the industry sector, 7% in construction and the remaining 1.2% in agriculture. 61% of all those to have left moved to Madrid.

The fact that the majority of these companies are from the service sector means there is "practically zero effect on [Catalonia's] production". According to the ministry, nor have the leaving offices "had a fiscal impact, since IS [corporation tax] isn't paid in Catalonia because it's a state tax". 


Graph: El Nacional / Data: INFORMA/Departament d'Empresa i Coneixement

As for size (calculated based on turnover and workforce) of the companies that have moved out of Catalonia, the great majority are micro or small businesses. In terms of turnover, 56.3% are microbusinesses, 22.9% are small, 12.5% are medium-sized and only 8.4% are large.

In terms of jobs, Chacón says that impact has been "minimal", since production centres haven't been moved and hence workers remain where they were.

"Welcome in Catalonia, now and forever"

Chacón repeated, as she's said before, that the companies which left are "welcome in Catalonia, now and forever", but emphasised that "they won't be given financial incentives to return".

The minister commented that "nobody has missed the fact that there are companies which were scared of the boycott", and that the executive order brought in by Rajoy's government after last year's referendum to facilitate the moving of registered head officers "had a political aim" and "wasn't justified". As such, the business department called for the order to be overturned and criticised the fact that it hasn't yet been.

Chacón also said that "not enough attention has been paid to the fact that there was no Catalan government at the time and it hurts us a lot that there should have been those interested in harming our economy". She repeated that the government is making a "solid bet on innovation, growth and an economy which is open to the world".