Spain: Growth edges up in Q1 as economic momentum shows no signs of abating
April 28, 2017
The Spanish economy continued to fire on all cylinders as it recorded another strong expansion in the first quarter of 2017, starting the year with a bang. GDP expanded at a seasonally-adjusted 0.8% in Q1 from the previous quarter, according to preliminary data released by the National Statistics Office (INE) on 28 April (Q4 2016: +0.7% quarter-on-quarter). The expansion came in a notch above market expectations of a 0.7% increase.
On an annual basis, GDP expanded at a two-year low of 3.0% in the first quarter, which mirrored the increase observed in the last quarter of 2016.
Although the preliminary release lacks details, data unveiled on the same day by INE showed retail sales rebounding in March after two consecutive months of decline, which suggests newfound strength among Spanish households. With the increase in the unemployment rate in Q1 largely driven by seasonal factors, private consumption is expected to remain the linchpin of economic growth heading into Q2.
The National Statistics Office will release more detailed data on 25 May.
Author: David Ampudia, Economist