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Foreign investment in Catalonia falls to its lowest level in six years

Business interest from abroad dropped by more than a tenth in 2018


20 March 2019 11:13 AM


Daniel Wittenberg | Barcelona

Catalonia attracted a little short of 3 billion euros of overseas investment last year – a decrease of 11.7% on 2017 and the lowest amount since 2012.

A total of 2.97 billion euros came into Catalan business from outside Spain in 2018, according to Spanish government data released on Wednesday.

The figure represents 397 million euros less than the previous twelve months.

It is the weakest performance since the bailout of Spanish banks in 2012, when Catalonia brought in 2.724 billion euros, and lower than the average annual investment between 2008 and 2011.

The statistics come only a week after Catalonia and Barcelona received awards from the Financial Times newspaper for their ability to attract and retain foreign investment.

"Good figures," according to the government

Yet, the Catalan government told the Catalan News Agency that 2018 was a “good year" for overseas investment, and stressed that the figures could still be updated—in 2016, foreign investment rose from 5,127.5 million euros to 8,273.8 after the initial figures were checked.

When analyzing foreign investment figures, the Catalan government says it’s better to do it over longer periods: between 2014 and 2018, the average was 4,639 million euros, 45% more than the average between 2009 and 2013.



  • Catalonia's cashflow from overseas has dried up by a tenth

  • Catalonia's cashflow from overseas has dried up by a tenth