Spain: Economic growth proves resilient amid political noise in Q4
The economy managed to withstand political uncertainty in the fourth quarter of last year, dispelling fears of an abrupt slowdown. Despite concerns stemming from Catalonia’s attempt at seceding from Spain, GDP rose a solid 0.7% from the previous quarter in Q4, which nonetheless marked a second consecutive deceleration, coming in a notch below the 0.8% quarter-on-quarter expansion recorded in Q3.
On an annual basis, GDP growth was steady for a third consecutive quarter at 3.1%. Although the preliminary release does not include a breakdown by components, growth is likely to have been supported by a robust external sector as well as a resilient domestic economy. High-frequency data suggests that, while economic activity was disrupted in October due to Catalonia’s contested independence referendum, it recovered in November and December amid waning uncertainty.
Economic growth came in at 3.1% for the year as a whole, slightly below the 3.3% expansion recorded in 2016. Nonetheless, the economy’s solid performance meant Spain was one of the fastest-growing economies in the Eurozone for a third consecutive year.
The Statistical Institute will release more detailed data on 2 March.