Catalan economic growth rate revised up
An increase in consumer spending and exportations means the Catalan economy grew by 0.2% in the second quarter of the year, growing quicker than expected.
Barcelona (ACN).- The Statistical Institute of Catalonia (Idescat) revised up the economic growth rate of the Catalan economy in the last six months. Catalonia came out of the economical crisis slightly stronger than expected, as the official data indicates that the Catalan GDP increased 0.1% in the first quarter of the year, from an earlier estimate of 0%. The figures from Idescat also show that the economy grew by 0.2% during the second quarter, a tenth more than previously stated.
The Catalan Ministry of Economy said that these figures confirm the recovery of the Catalan economy. The recovery of the global economy has boosted Catalan exportations. An increase in consumer spending has also played a significant role in the improvement of the economical situation, according to the Catalan Government. Especially important has been the data registered in the industrial sector, which has experienced a 'clear improvement' and is becoming the 'driving force' of the recovery.
The industrial sector has grown by 2.1% in the second quarter of the year, the highest increase since 2001. In fact, last year industry activity fell by 12.9%. The government defines these changes as 'radical' and indicates that the last quarter of this economical sector has contributed to a 0.4% increase of the GDP.
Catalan exportation has risen by 9.3% between April and June, compared to a 13.2% decrease from the same period last year. This increase is mainly due to the economical recovery of the main countries in Europe, the most important target for Catalonia. Especially significant has been the improvement in Germany. Importations have also risen in the last months by 10.9%, a significant increase considering that they plummeted by 14.4% in the same period of last year. Internally, consumer spending has also been higher because citizens bought more before the VAT increase was introduced on the 1st of July. The agricultural sector has also increased, but at a slower rate of 1.9%.
However, the construction sector continues its decline. In the last quarter it registered a decrease of 7.4%, slightly slower than in the first term of the year when it fell by 8.4%. Last year, the construction sector in Catalonia dropped by 6.6%. Similarly, investment in the building industry was 10% lower, a figure that confirms a continuous bad trend for the sector. The bad figures of the construction sector affected a 0.7% decrease in the GDP growth.
The service sector continues to show negative results, but has demonstrated a 'continuous improvement' according to the Catalan Government. While in 2009 the service sector fell by 1.2%, this year it is showing 'more positive' results that indicate a change of trend towards recovery. According to Idescat, the sector decreased 0.7% in the first quarter and 0.1% in the second.