The Spanish Minister of Economy, Luis de Guindos, fixed at 3%, the growth rate of GDP in 2016, thus improving the forecasts sent to Brussels last April (2.7%). In fact – despite the period of uncertainty politics after the failure of contacts between political parties to form government – the Spanish economy recorded in the period January / March 2016 an increase of 0.8%; in annual terms the growth rate stood at 3.4%, exceeding by about two percentage points above the EU average (1.5%).
Domestic consumption continues to be the engine of growth, domestic demand recorded a 0.9% increase in the first three months of this year, the rate reaching 3.7% in annual terms. Public consumption has maintained its expansionary trend, despite the deficit target failure in 2015.
The positive performance of the Spanish GDP has, however, some signs of deceleration. In fact, gross fixed investment rose by 1.1% growth rates in the period October / December 2015 to the current 0.4% (January / March 2016). Stands out, also, the investment downturn in the construction sector (-0.2%), after two years of uninterrupted growth; despite, the construction activity continues to mark growth in annual terms (+ 3.1% compared to the first quarter last year).
The quarterly change in investment in capital goods amounted to 1.3% against 1.9% in the fourth quarter of 2015. The increase trend has positioned slightly below 10%.
Similarly, the trend in the foreign sector was more moderate, reflecting the slowdown in emerging economies and some of the customer markets of Spanish exports. Local exports of goods and services rose from an annual growth rate of 5.8% to 3.7%. Analysis shows there was a slight decrease of 0.5% against the 0.9% rise which occurred at the end of 2015.
Finally, as regards the occupation there was an annual increase of 3.2%, two tenths higher rate than in the fourth quarter of 2015. Based on the data of the INE (Spanish Statistics Institute) there were created 533,000 jobs in last twelve months.