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Catalan economy keeps positive trend and posts 3.5% annual growth

Neither ‘Brexit’ nor the lack of a government in Spain seem to have affected the progress of the Catalan economy, which registered 3.5% growth at the end of the second quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year. According to figures released this Thursday by the Catalan Finance Ministry and the Catalan Statistics Institute (Idescat), the pace of growth in  the second quarter was 0.8% in terms of GDP, the same figure registered in the previous quarter. Regarding the economic sectors, industry registered the highest growth, even higher than the Eurozone average. Considering these figures, the forecasts for the whole of 2016 made by the Catalan Department for Economy may have to be revised upwards, since in May the body estimated a 2.9% growth for the whole year.

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28 July 2016 06:20 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- The Catalan economy has kept its pace of growth during the second quarter of 2016, posting a 0.8% increase in GDP, the same figure registered in the previous quarter, according to data released on Thursday by the Catalan Finance Ministry and the Catalan Statistics Institute (Idescat). This trend shows that the Catalan economy hasn’t run out of steam in the last months, different to what has happened on the international scale, where forecasts pointed to a global deceleration. Thus, neither ‘Brexit’ nor the lack of a government in Spain seem to have affected the Catalan economic recovery, which had grown by 3.5% by the end of the second quarter compared to the same period last year. Moreover, the industrial sector has grown by 3.5%, which surpassed the Eurozone average and makes it the best figure registered in the last six years.



Considering these figures, the forecasts for the whole of 2016 made by the Catalan Department for Economy may have to be revised upwards, since in May the body estimated a 2.9% increase in the GDP for the whole year. 

The recovery of domestic demand and the continuing good performance of the export and tourism sectors are the main engines behind the positive figures since the second quarter of 2015. Indeed, tourism in the first semester of 2016 increased by 4.1% in comparison to the same period last year and the number of overnight stays grew by 8.4%.

In addition, the industrial sector has grown by 3.5%, the best figure registered in the last six years and even higher than the Eurozone average.

Regarding the construction sector, it has been growing for the past six quarters, posting a 3.7% increase in annual terms.

56,400 fewer unemployed in Catalonia

The second quarter unemployment figures set Catalonia’s rate at 16% and Spain’s at 20%, according to the latest Active Population Survey (EPA). Thus, the number of unemployed in Catalonia now totals 603,000, while 52,700 people found a job between April and June. Indeed, Catalonia is the Autonomous Community with the second highest increase, after the Balearic Islands.

Regarding the economic sectors, services led the increase in the second quarter, mainly due to the summer season. However, trade unions warn that most of these contracts are temporary. Moreover, the unemployment figures are still far from pre-crisis levels, with the lowest rate of unemployment having been registered in 2008. Trade unions also warn that working conditions are worsening, especially in the services sectors, where extra hours are usually not paid and some workers work full time while being hired on a part-time basis. 

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