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Spain: New Q1 data confirm fastest GDP acceleration in six years

May 29, 2014

GDP expanded a seasonally-adjusted 0.4% over the previous quarter in Q1 according to more complete data released by the National Statistics Office (INE) on 29 May. The print matched the result reported in the 30 April advance estimate and doubled the 0.2% increase tallied in Q4. The Q1 expansion marked the largest quarterly gain since Q1 2008. On an annual basis, GDP rose 0.5% over the same quarter last year, which contrasted the 0.2% decline recorded in Q4 and represented the highest growth rate since Q2 2011.

The expansion mainly reflected a healthy performance in domestic demand. Although private consumption growth decelerated slightly to 0.4% in Q1 (Q4: +0.5% quarter-on-quarter), government spending rebounded to a 4.4% increase (Q4: -3.9% qoq), which marked the largest expansion on record. Gross fixed investment fell 0.6% in Q1, contrasting the 0.7% expansion tallied in Q4.

Exports of goods and services decreased 0.4% (Q4: +0.8% qoq), while imports expanded 1.5% (Q4: -0.6% qoq). As a result, the external sector’s net contribution to overall growth swung from plus 1.5 percentage points in Q4 to minus 1.9 percentage points in Q1.

The Central Bank expects the economy to grow 1.2% in 2014 and to accelerate to a 1.7% expansion in 2015. Moreover, the government announced that the Spanish economy would grow 1.2% this year before accelerating to 1.8% in 2015. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect GDP to expand 1.0% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. In 2015, panelists expect the economy to expand 1.6%.


Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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Spain GDP Q1 2014

Note: Quarter-on-quarter changes of seasonally-adjusted GDP and year-on-year variation in %
Source: Central Bank (Banco de España, BdE) and FocusEconomics calculations.


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