The journal EXPANSION, one of the main economic newspapers in Spain, recently published the result of more than one hundred interviews to the most important companies settled in Spain. Despite risks that could harm the economy (e.g. Brexit, fiscal policy, migration), CEOs agree on the positive outcome for the Spanish economy in 2018.
The companies’ managers agree on a general GDP growth, driven by the positive progression still observed in economic activity and employment, the internal demand momentum, a favourable international context that should support exports, an expansive monetary policy, the tourism sector; and good financing conditions.
The Spanish economy closed 2017 with a third consecutive year of GDP growth above 3% (2015: 3.4%, 2016: 3.3%, 2017: 3.1%). For 2018, different forecasts predict a potential GDP rise from 2.4 to 2.8%
The number of employed people has been growing at an average of +2.4% per year during the last four years, which has led the unemployment rate to a sharp decrease from its peak of 26.1% at the end of 2013, to a current 16.7% (Nov. 2017). According to official previsions, the ongoing year should end with a 15.3% rate.
Private consumption (+2.6% in 2017) is key for the recovery of the Spanish economy, as it is adding growth to the GDP and creating employment. Despite contribution to GDP will decrease to 2.1% for 2018, public consumption will compensate the decrease, as it will add to GDP a 1.8% of growth from a 1.3% last year.
After few years of deflation, 2017 brought back inflation to Spain: the year ended with 2% increase in prices. Looking ahead to the end of 2018, inflation is expected to moderate to a range from 1.4% to 1.5%, but prices will continue to rise.
The sector represents 16% of the Spanish GDP (CaixaBank 2016), and rising numbers of visitors anticipate a consolidation of this sector’s importance for the Spanish economy. In fact, Spain reached in 2017 the second world position in visitors (82 million) after France (86 million) and in tourist expenditure (€60'600m) after USA (€185'100m).
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