Outperforming all forecasts
In 2016, the Spanish economy outperformed all the forecasts made by expert organizations, which had been expecting a slowdown in the early part of the year. Instead, the economy grew 3.2%, the same pace as the previous year.
From September to December, GDP growth was 0.7%, an identical figure to the previous quarter but lower than the previous six quarters. The data suggests a mild slowdown during the second half of the year.
The new numbers also show that the Spanish economy has grown for the third year in a row. In that time, it has recovered around 80% of what it lost during the crisis, in real terms. Factoring in the effects of inflation, Spanish GDP has gained back practically 95% of what it lost.
Back to pre-crisis levels in 2017
“Looking at these numbers, we can assume that this year we will go back to pre-crisis activity levels,” says José Domingo Roselló, an analyst at the Madrid-based economic research institute Flores de Lemus.
The GDP recovery is based mostly on the export of goods and services, which have shot up from around 25% to 33% of GDP on the back of a competitive devaluation, a search for new markets and a recent recovery of the European economy.
In 2016, tourism receipts also shattered all previous records, while the sale of non-tourism related services grew even more.
Preliminary figures for 2017 show that economic output is doubling and even tripling growth figures in most other EU member states. However, this is not expected to keep up.
“Most forecasts are talking about a slowdown to somewhere around 2.5% due to more adverse external conditions, to which other changing factors must be added such as the behavior of inflation, which could affect competitiveness, or financing conditions,” says José Ramón Díez Guijarro, chief economist of Bankia’s analysis services.
Source: El Pais