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The Recovery Plan failed to fullfil expectations in 2021. As we look forward, we must focus on streamlining and accelerating its roll-out and on using it to transform our economy and invest wisely in projects with strong potential to increase employment and improve job quality and productivity.
Aragon's GDP grew by 4.2% in 2021. The sanctions imposed on Russia and the increase in fuel prices reduce growth expectations. Even so, Aragon's GDP could increase by 2.9% in 2022 and 3.0% in 2023. By the end of 2023, GDP per capita could exceed the pre-crisis level by 1%.
The forecasts of the Stability Program point to a fairly strong recovery, with GDP growth above potential, but the public accounts suggest a cyclical improvement of the deficit rather than its structural component.
The NextGenerationEU program should never have been perceived—or explained as—some sort of countercyclical fiscal policy. It is in fact an opportunity to take a first step toward a genuine transformation of the Spanish economy.
The rise in infections over the past month and increased costs throughout most of the past year herald a weakening of the recovery in Spain at the beginning of 2022.
Growth in Spain will remain high in the 2022-2023 biennium. Pandemic control, the use of pent-up savings, accelerating NGEU funds, ECB measures and high spare capacity would offset the effects of bottlenecks and higher energy prices.
The new labor reform was achieved with a social consensus. It clears up uncertainties, makes several improvements and avoids going back on key progress made in the last decade. But it is not ambitious enough to solve the structural problems of the Spanish labor market.
Though 2022 should be a better year for GDP growth in the Spanish economy than 2021, the current outlook is also far more uncertain than it was a year ago, due to the appearance of new risks and an increase in existing ones — making forecasts even more volatile.