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

The Spanish economy managed to grow for the first time last year since the crisis began and in an accelerated way. At the end of 2014, the growth in the interannual rate was 2%, four tenths more than in the previous quarter and the highest rate of the last six years. The quarter-on-quarter advance was 0.7%, two tenths higher than the third and the highest rate since 2007. The year as a whole closed with an average annual growth of 1.4%, 2.6 percentage points higher than the one registered in 2013. The contribution of domestic demand improved, with seven quarters followed by inter-quarterly 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 a solid national demand, whose contribution to the annual increase 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 improves 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 inter-quarterly growth rate, to 0.9% (0.8% in the third quarter). On the other hand, the final consumption expenditure of the Public Administrations was reduced by 1%, compared to -0.1% of the previous quarter. Gross fixed capital formation recorded a quarterly increase of 1.4%, three tenths higher than the previous quarter. This acceleration was due to the greater dynamism of investment in construction, which went from 0.5% in the third quarter to 1.4% in the fourth.

The lower detraction of net external demand The annual growth of GDP was due both to the deceleration of imports and the acceleration of exports. Thus, imports increased 7.7%, nine tenths less than in the third quarter, while exports advanced 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 pace of progress to 3.4%. Imports, on the other hand, decreased 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 VAB 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 construction GVA accelerated to 3.4% year-on-year. On the other hand, the GVA of the 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 inter-quarterly rate of job creation, in terms of full-time equivalent jobs, accelerated two tenths in the last quarter of 2014, to 0.7%. There are four quarters followed by 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 was not reached since the first quarter of 2008. On the other hand, the salary per employee contracted 0.5%, two tenths more than in the third quarter, so unit labor costs fell 0.1%, two tenths less than in the previous quarter.

The interannual 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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