In the third quarter of 2020, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in real terms registered a year-on-year reduction of 5.8%, after the strong contraction of 16.4% in the previous quarter. The less intense reduction in GDP reflected the progressive reopening of the economic activity, which followed the application of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 with a strong economic impact in the first two months of the second quarter. The evolution of GDP was mainly due to the behaviour of domestic demand, which registered a considerably less negative contribution to the year-on-year rate of change of GDP than that observed in the previous quarter, mainly reflecting the lower contraction in private consumption. The negative contribution of net external demand was less pronounced in the third quarter, as a result of the more significant recovery in Exports of Goods and Services than that observed in Imports of Goods and Services, driven, to a larger extent, by the evolution of exports of goods, while the exports of services maintained significant reductions.
Compared to the second quarter of 2020, GDP increased by 13.2% in real terms, while in the previous quarter there was a significantly contraction (quarter-on-quarter rate of change of -13.9%). This result is also explained, to a large extent, by the highly positive contribution of domestic demand to the quarter-on-quarter rate of GDP, after a significant negative contribution in the second quarter. The contribution of net external demand moved from very negative in the previous quarter to positive, with exports of goods increasing markedly.