• Spain leads the economic and labor market improvement among developed countries
  • The evolution of GDP and the number of employed recover the growth rates prior to the recession

The Council of Ministers has updated the macroeconomic chart 2015-2016 with an upward revision of the growth and employment variables. A GDP increase of 3.3% is expected for this year, four tenths more than what was set in the last Stability Program, and 3% in 2016, one tenth more. The labor market will close 2015 with an increase of 602,000 in the number of employees, 3.4% more, and an unemployment rate of 21.1%. These are prudent and realistic forecasts, in line with what is estimated by different private analysts. They also confirm that the Spanish economy will lead this year the growth and job creation among developed countries, as international organizations have certified these days.

These objectives are achievable because they are based on an economic policy aimed at correcting macroeconomic imbalances. The intense reduction of the public deficit, achieved in a framework of severe recession, the process of indebtedness, the gains in competitiveness and the obtaining of surplus and financing capacity abroad, give economic projections a high credibility. It is the first time that in the Spanish economy it has such a long period of positive foreign balance, four years if we have 2016. And the same happens with the financing capacity, which will last for at least five years. To this must be added the absence of inflationary pressures, which has allowed improving the purchasing power of families and facilitating, together with the creation of employment, that the recovery begins to be perceived in the day-to-day life of a greater number of citizens.

The data show that Spain is leading the way out of the crisis more strongly than estimated a few months ago. The 3.3% growth forecast for 2015 (annual average) is based on the good evolution during the first half of the year, which in annualized rate registers an increase of 4%. Both domestic demand, with a contribution of 3.3 points, and net external, with an improvement of two tenths, contribute in a balanced and sustainable way to this better evolution of GDP. The 3.3% expected is the highest rate since 2007 and, together with the 1.4% recorded in 2014, means recovering more than half (4.7 points) of the income lost during the crisis. If the forecasts for 2016 (3%) are taken into account, next year the Spanish economy will have returned to the GDP levels of 2008.

Domestic demand will pull growth in 2015, with a better evolution than expected. Private consumption will increase 3.4%, driven by the faster than expected recovery of employment, the moderation of consumer prices and the decrease in taxes resulting from tax reform. Investment in fixed capital is expected to increase by 6.4% in 2015, thanks to capital goods (9.3%) and, especially, construction (5.5%). This sector will grow for the first time in 2015 after seven years of consecutive falls, with a recovery of the residential segment (3.2%) and, to a greater extent, of the other constructions (7.3%).

In the case of the labor market, the higher GDP growth in 2015 will result in higher job creation. At the end of this year, the total number of employed persons (EPA) will be 18,171 million, 3.4% more than a year earlier. This figure exceeds that of the end of 2011 and the growth rate is the highest since 2007. It assumes that by the end of 2015 602,000 jobs will have been created in the year. If you add to this figure those of last year, you reach 1,036 million new jobs in the two years. The unemployment rate also improves, up to 21.1% of the active population at the end of 2015, below that of the end of 2011.

The year 2016 continues the recovery of the economy, with an expected growth of 3% thanks to the fact that the national demand contributes 2.9 points and the net external demand, one tenth. The consolidation of the economic recovery inside and outside the EU boosts exports of goods and services, which are advancing at a rate of 6% per year in volume, and imports grow by 6.4%, four tenths more than in 2014 Employment grows at an average annual rate of 3% and the unemployment rate will be reduced to 19.7%.

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