• The quarter-on-quarter rate accelerates to 0.7%, two tenths more than in the third quarter and the fastest pace since 2007
  • Household final consumption expenditure chains positive seven quarters and grows 0.9%
  • Employment increased 2.4%, seven tenths more, and reached 392,000 full-time jobs in the last year

Last year the Spanish economy managed to grow for the first time since the crisis began and at an accelerated rate. At the end of 2014, year-on-year growth was 2%, four tenths more than in the previous quarter and the highest rate in the last six years. The quarter-on-quarter advance was 0.7%, two tenths higher than the third and the fastest pace since 2007. The year as a whole closed with an average annual growth of 1.4%, 2.6 percentage points higher than that registered in 2013. The contribution of domestic demand improved, with seven quarters followed by quarter-on-quarter growth in household consumption. Employment recovered 2.4% in the last quarter compared to a year ago, seven tenths more than the third, and in the last year 392,000 full-time equivalent jobs have been created.

The growth of the Spanish economy continues to be supported by solid national demand, whose contribution to the year-on-year advance in GDP was 2.7 percentage points in the fourth quarter, one tenth higher than that of the third. For its part, net external demand also improved its contribution to GDP by three tenths compared to the previous quarter, standing at –0.7 points.

In a more detailed analysis of the evolution of national demand, household final consumption expenditure intensified its quarter-on-quarter growth rate, to 0.9% (0.8% in the third quarter). For its part, the final consumption expenditure of the Public Administrations fell by 1%, compared to -0.1% in the previous quarter. Gross fixed capital formation posted a quarter-on-quarter increase of 1.4%, three tenths higher than the previous quarter. This acceleration was due to the greater dynamism of construction investment, which went from 0.5% in the third quarter to 1.4% in the fourth.

The smallest decrease in net external demand The year-on-year growth in GDP was due to both the slowdown in imports and the acceleration in exports. Thus, imports increased by 7.7%, nine tenths less than in the third quarter, while exports advanced by 4.7%, two tenths more than in the previous period.

On the other hand, exports of goods reduced their dynamism, with an interannual growth of 5.3%, while exports of services accelerated their growth rate to 3.4%. Imports, for their part, slowed their year-on-year growth to 7.7%, with a slower pace of imports of goods that was partially offset by higher growth in services imports, to 8.7% year-on-year.

From the supply perspective, the GVA of the services sector accelerated six tenths in the fourth quarter of last year, registering a year-on-year increase of 2.3%, and the GVA of construction accelerated to 3.4% year-on-year. For its part, the GVA of industry increased to 2.1% year-on-year, and the GVA of agriculture fell by 3.4% compared to the fourth quarter of the previous year.

The quarter-on-quarter rate of job creation, in terms of full-time equivalent jobs, accelerated in the last quarter of 2014 by two tenths, to 0.7%. There are four quarters in a row of growth in the quarterly rate. In year-on-year terms, employment increased for the third consecutive quarter, registering an increase of 2.4%, a rate that had not been reached since the first quarter of 2008. For its part, compensation per employee decreased by 0.5%, two tenths more than in the third quarter, so unit labor costs decreased 0.1%, two tenths less than in the previous quarter.

The year-on-year rate of the GDP deflator stood at -0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014, three tenths lower than that registered in the previous quarter and negative for the fourth consecutive quarter. This greater fall was mainly due to the greater decrease in the consumption deflator (-0.5%, compared to -0.2% in the previous quarter).

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