- The Spanish economy accelerates to 1.3% this year and 2% next year in a less favorable European environment
- 622,000 jobs are created between this year and the one that comes after six continuous exercises of job destruction
- The unemployment rate ends 2015 at 22.2% of the active population, a lower percentage than at the end of the last Legislature
The Council of Ministers approved the 2014-2015 macroeconomic scenario, which includes an upward revision of the forecasts in the two years. For 2014, growth of 1.3% is expected, one tenth above the last forecast for April this year, and 2% for 2015, two tenths higher. This improvement occurs despite a less favorable environment, especially in the eurozone. The recovery of the Spanish economy is consolidated with a growth higher than that of the countries of the single currency, which will allow the creation of 622,000 jobs between the two years after six years of continued destruction of jobs. The unemployment rate will close 2015 at 22.2% of the active population, below that registered in the last quarter of 2011.
Thanks to the reforms carried out, in the second quarter of 2014 the Spanish economy managed to grow (0.6%) above the average for the partners in the euro area (0.0%), weighed down by the main countries, France, Italy and Germany. Forecasts indicate that growth for the year as a whole (1.3%) will also be higher. International organizations have slightly revised their estimates for the eurozone downwards in 2014, while in the case of Spain the process has been the opposite, also for 2015. The eurozone is expected to recover the growth rate next year, thanks to a more favorable financial and fiscal environment and the impulse measures decided by the European Central Bank (ECB). In this context, the forecasts approved by the Government for the Spanish economy can be described as prudent and realistic.
The macroeconomic scenario that accompanies the 2015 General State Budgets, based on the new SEC-2010, is based on the consolidation of the recovery process started by the Spanish economy last year. Average annual GDP growth in volume is estimated at 1.3% in 2014, after the 1.2% drop in 2013, and an acceleration of seven tenths, down to 2%, in 2015. This scenario is based on the job creation, the positive tone of the expectations of both consumers and companies, the moderation of prices and wages, the gradual improvement of financial conditions for companies and families, the tax reform and the dynamism of the export sector.
The projected growth for the Spanish economy in 2014 is a consequence of the expansionary behavior of national demand, which will gradually gain weight. It will contribute 1.4 percentage points to GDP growth after six negative years (-2.7 percentage points in 2013) and 1.8 points next year. Both private consumption and investment in capital goods will contribute to this growth, while the adjustment in the construction sector could have hit bottom to start the recovery in 2015. The combined effect of the progressive increase in consumption and the moderation in Unit labor costs will allow modest increases in inflation. Improvements in competitiveness will continue, while maintaining the purchasing power of incomes.
Net foreign demand will drain a tenth of a percentage point to the annual variation of GDP in 2014, although a correction of the growth pattern is expected in 2015, with a positive contribution from both national demand (1.8 percentage points) and external demand. (0.2 percentage points). The expected recovery of the European economies and the depreciation of the exchange rate will allow exports to recover to grow 3.6% this year and 5.2% in 2015. The balance of the current account balance will remain positive. and it will show a financing capacity compared to the rest of the world, of 1.5% of GDP, in 2014, and 1.7% in 2015.
The revival of the Spanish economy will be accompanied by a progressive strengthening of employment, in a context of moderation in labor costs and flexibility in the labor market. Employment will grow 0.7% on an annual basis this year (full-time equivalent jobs), after six years of continued job destruction, and will accelerate seven tenths in 2015, to 1.4%. These forecasts are also higher than those of the Stability Program last April, which placed job growth at 0.6% and 1.2%, respectively.
In EPA terms (Active Population Survey), the forecast scenario contemplates the net creation of 622,000 jobs between the end of 2013 and the end of next year. In that period, the number of unemployed is reduced by 860,000. The unemployment rate will decrease already this year and next, to stand at 22.2% of the active population at the end of 2015. On an annual average, the unemployment rate decreases 1.4 points in 2014, until 24, 7% of the active population, and almost two additional points next year, up to 22.9%.