Petrol prices fail to dent economy, says Solbes

27th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

27 August 2004, MADRID – Spain's gross national product should grow by 2.8 percent this year despite rises in petrol prices, the Economics Minister predicted Friday.

27 August 2004

MADRID – Spain's gross national product should grow by 2.8 percent this year despite rises in petrol prices, the Economics Minister predicted Friday.

Pedro Solbes said that by 2005, GNP should not fall short of 3 percent.

But he did admit that if the price of crude oil reached USD 40 a barrel, this could mean the country's GNP only rises to 2.6 percent by the start of next year.

In a press conference, after the Spanish cabinet sat for the first time after the summer break, Solbes said it seemed probable that the price of crude would fall to more reasonable levels from September.

He said despite earlier rises, largely caused by terrorist activity in Saudi Arabia and the on-going rebellion in Iraq, the impact of these increases on the Spanish economy was expected to be moderate.

Solbes said Spain could be "relatively optimistic" and reiterated that the overall economic picture was healthy.

Solbes added that the government's budget programme remained based on predictions which he claimed were "absolutely consistent".


[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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