• The Stability Program 2015-2018 revises upwards the forecasts of growth and job creation
  • At the end of 2015, the level of employment at the end of 2011 will have been exceeded and unemployment will have fallen by 419,000
  • The unemployment rate will end 2015 below the end of the last Legislature and will be reduced to 19.8% in 2016 on an annual average
  • The Spanish economy highlights the way out of the crisis with greater growth and employment power than the large euro countries
  • The growth pattern will be more balanced between internal and external demand with improved competitiveness

The Spanish economy begins a new cycle of growth with rates close to 3% and the creation of at least half a million jobs annually. This is reflected in the Stability Program Update (2015-2018) that the Council of Ministers has approved for its referral to Brussels. For 2015, the growth forecast has risen to 2.9% (from 2%), a pace that is maintained in 2016 to reach 3% in the following two years. In terms of the Active Population Survey (EPA) in 2015, 600,000 jobs will be created and unemployment will fall by 590,000. The Government's forecast is that by the end of 2015 there will be more employees than at the end of the last Legislature, unemployment will be lower by 419,300 people and the unemployment rate will be 21.1%, also below that of the last quarter of 2011 On an annual average, the percentage of unemployed over active population will be 19.8% in 2016 to reach 15.6% in 2018.

The GDP growth estimated at 2.9% for 2015 will be the highest since 2007; that is, it will return to the rates before the longest and deepest recession in decades. It is expected that this pace will also be maintained in 2016, which will mean that next year the levels of income prior to the crisis will be recovered. For this, it is important to maintain the course of economic policy, based on the combined effect of structural reforms, the reduction of imbalances and the creation of employment as a purpose.

The Government intends to maintain the effort to reduce the public deficit, as one of the keys to improving confidence and financing conditions for the economy as a whole. The foreign sector will contribute positively to growth in 2016 and in subsequent years favored by the improvement of competitiveness and with a positive balance in the current account for the entire period. The financing capacity vis-à-vis the rest of the world will be around 1.5% of GDP, which will allow progressively reducing external indebtedness. All this in an environment of price stability.

The macroeconomic picture presented today can be described as prudent and realistic and assumes that the Spanish economy enters a phase in which growth is strengthened and consolidated, at a faster pace than expected. It is based on recent estimates from the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and its own. The global context is taken into account as well as a progressive improvement in projections for the euro zone. All this in the framework of the policies of the European Central Bank (ECB) and its effect on the exchange rate of the euro and the evolution of oil prices. It is a favorable scenario that provides “tailwind” to all euro countries, but in which Spain grows and creates more jobs than the big ones in the eurozone thanks to the reforms carried out.

Domestic demand will prolong its dynamism over the next four years and will act as the great pillar of growth. Both households and companies will continue in the deleveraging process, compatible with better access to credit. The improvement in consumption will continue thanks to the increase in available family income that is produced by job creation, price moderation, tax reform (2015-2016) and confidence recovery. The foreign sector will improve its contribution to growth, driven by greater dynamism of exports, economic recovery in destination markets and competitiveness gains. Imports maintain their expansion, although they moderate the pace of growth in line with the evolution of final demand.

The greater flexibility introduced by the 2012 labor reform has made it possible to create jobs with GDP growth rates significantly lower than those that were necessary before the reform. In addition, the improvement of financing conditions for companies and the normalization of credit will allow productive and creative employment investment to grow at a rate close to 6% in the coming years. The construction returns to positive rates and the investment in capital goods registers a sustained increase. This profound change in trend has already been noted in recent quarters in relation to employment. In the first three months of 2015, employment has grown by 3% compared to a year earlier, a rate that will continue throughout the projected period.

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