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Economic growth forecast for Catalonia: 1.6% in 2014 and 2.1% in 2015

Figures released by the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce on Monday showed that the economy of Catalonia is set to grow by 1.6% in 2014 and 2.1% in 2015. The Chamber also predicted that by 2015, there will be a 2% rise in Spain’s GDP and 1.4% in that of the Eurozone countries average. According to the President of the Chamber, Miquel Valls, the recovery of Catalan and Spanish economies is "solid", but he stressed that the "austerity in wages" must be maintained. This report comes after the success of all Catalan banks passing the stress tests issued by the European Banking Authority and the European Central Bank, which 25 banks across Europe failed. Related economic news is that the unemployment figures released for third quarter of 2014 set Catalonia’s rate at 19.1% and Spain’s at 23.67%.

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27 October 2014 08:11 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- On Monday, the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce published the report 'Status and prospects of the Catalan economy 2014-2015'. According to its figures, the Catalan economy will grow by 1.6% in 2014 – while a 1.2% growth had been initially forecast – and it will grow by 2.1% in 2015. This is compared to a 2% growth in the GDP of Spain and 1.4% in that of the whole of the Eurozone in 2015. During a press conference held in the Catalan capital, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Miquel Valls, called the recovery of the economies of Catalonia and Spain "solid", but cautioned that the "austerity in wages" must be maintained, especially in those industries with international competition. The news of positive economic growth comes after all banks in Catalonia passed the stress tests issued last Sunday by the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Central Bank (ECB), in contrast to 25 European banks which failed. Moreover, it follows recent unemployment figures for the third quarter of 2014, published last Thursday, which set Catalonia’s unemployment rate at 19.1% and Spain’s at 23.67%; the Catalan unemployment rate by the end of September was the lowest yet since 2011.


Catalan economy growing faster than the average Eurozone

According to the same report, the Catalan economy grew by 1.9% year on year in the third quarter of 2014, the most positive figure since 2008. Furthermore, Catalonia's GDP increased by 0.5% from last June to September, while the quarterly growth registered between March and June was 0.6%. Valls pointed out that the Catalan economy is performing better than those economies around it, not only that of Spain but also faster than the Eurozone countries’ average. The Chamber President called last Sunday's success, when all banks in Catalonia passed the EU-wide stress test to be a welcome sign of economic recovery. However he cautioned that such recovery relies heavily on exports, and that the foreign sector has to maintain stable labour costs in order to remain competitive at an international level.

Valls also warned that some macroeconomic indicators, including that of industrial production and retail trade, were showing "slow" growth in the third quarter. Similarly, the business confidence index had dipped slightly and there had also been trends noted of stagnating exports, due to the economic slowdown of the European Union. In contrast, the tourism sector remained "quite positive" with a recovery in the domestic market shown by an increase of 3.6% more tourists making hotel bookings in the first 8 months of the year, underlined Valls.

The report follows the recent publication of Catalonia’s unemployment figures for its third economic quarter of 2014. This data, complied by the Spanish Institute of Statistics (INE), shows Catalonia’s unemployment rate has fallen by 44,000 individuals in the third quarter, being set at 19.1% at the end of September 2014, the lowest yet since 2011, while that of Spain is 23.67%. In addition, the number of jobs created over the last 12 months increased by 2.3%, making the total number of employed people in Catalonia 3,074,800.

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  • The President of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Miquel Valls (left), presenting the economic forecast for 2014 and 2015 (by J. R. Torné)

  • The President of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Miquel Valls (left), presenting the economic forecast for 2014 and 2015 (by J. R. Torné)