Published on Monday, May 13, 2024

Spain | The country's growth in the European context

Spain's positive growth differential with the EU is good news, but it can be exhausted and is not enough to reduce the gap between GDP per capita and productivity, which is the only engine capable of generating sustained growth.

Key points

  • Key points:
  • At the beginning of 2022, Spain's GDP was 2.6 points below its pre-crisis level and the EU's 2.2 points above. Two years on, Spain's is now 2.7 points higher and the EU’s only 2 tenths above Spain's. In the last two years, there has been greater dynamism in Spain in exports, private consumption and public consumption, which have grown 24.1, 10.7 and 5.2 points, respectively. The increase in services exports was 80.5 points.
  • The increase was largely, but not completely, due to the post-pandemic rebound in foreign tourism and Spain's status as a safe tourist destination in the light of ongoing armed conflicts elsewhere. Exports of other non-tourism services have reached record highs.
  • The energy crisis has also had a differential impact on European countries. Germany was hit the hardest of any of the large EU economies, with GDP in the first quarter of 2024 a tenth of a percentage point lower than in early 2022.
  • A third distinguishing factor entails the implementation of NGEU funds. Calls for application by Spain awarded from 2021 to the end of March last year, while later than originally expected, amounted to 2.4% of GDP.
  • A fourth distinguishing factor has to do with immigration. Thanks to immigration, Spain's population has grown by 2.5% over the past two years, nearly two points above the EU total. Italy, meanwhile, saw its population shrink by 0.2%.

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