Since 2004, the Spanish Association of Consultancy firms (Asociación Española de Empresas de Consultoría or AEC) has meticulously compiled data from Spanish firms in the industry to offer an annual snapshot of the most important features and trends in the industry. This report provides data for 2016 and comparisonswith previous years. The figures confirm that the industry is structurally stable and is experiencing sustained growth.
The data used was obtained directly from the consultancy firms and official statistics from the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, the National Statistics Institute (INE) and Eurostat.
Some of the main conclusions are outlined below.
- Turnover in the industry rose by 4.9% in 2016, from €11,270m to €11,818m. Income was up for the third year running, following a minor fall in 2013.
- 2016 saw the onsolidation of a new period of expansion, different in certain key aspects to previous growth phases:
a) Growth rates are more moderate than in the period immediately prior to the crisis.
b) Unlike 2008 – 2013, the increase in turnover is based on the Spanish market (see Table 1).
c) Productivity has risen slightly (see Table 7).
- Net employment in the industry rose by 4.4% in the year, with over 150,000 people now employed. Spanish consultancy firms have consistently created net employment throughout the period from 2004 to 2016.
- Consultancy stands out as a source of high-quality employment even among knowledge-intensive industries, which
have proved more crisis-resilient than other areas of the economy. Net job creation in the consultancy industry came to 4.4%, compared to 2% amongst knowledge-intensive businesses as a whole.
- In 2016 the largest increase in income came from consultancy services (16.7%). Demand for this type of service has been boosted by the need for companies to undertake digital transformation of their business. Income from consultancy services accounted for 18% of total industry turnover during the year.
- By sector, the largest demand comes from financial services, (accounting for 29.7% of sales); government (14.7%); and telecommunications (12.9%). Recent trends in this demand have varied: an increase in demand from financial institutions is one of the pillars of the growth in the industry’s sales. In contrast, income from sales to government and telecom firms has fallen, in absolute and relative terms, since 2012.