Spanish growth almost doubles European rivals
24 May 2006, MADRID — The Spanish economy grew 3.5 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared with the same period the year before.
24 May 2006
MADRID — The Spanish economy grew 3.5 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared with the same period the year before.
The increase matched predictions by the Bank of Spain.
Between this first quarter of 2006 and the previous three-month period, the economy expanded by 0.8 percent, according to figures from the National Statistics Institute.
This is the third consecutive quarter in which Spain's economy has continued to grow at a rate of 3.5 percent – a figure almost double that of the European Union average of 1.8 percent.
Analysts say the reason is the continued strong internal demand, which rose 5 percent compared with the previous quarter.
In the past year, 575,000 new jobs have been created – a rhythm of employment expansion of 3.2 percent.
Exports rose 9.1 percent, 7.2 percent higher than the previous quarter and the biggest rise since the second quarter of 2000.
The sale of goods explains this increase rather than movement in the service sector which appears to be decelerating, especially in tourism.
But imports rose 12.4 percent – almost double the previous quarter, and the largest rise since the beginning of 2000.
Again, this was due to the rise in demand for goods and services, especially those connected with loans to companies, financial institutions and the communication sector.
Household consumption continued to show "dynamism", though analysts said it was "less expansive" with regard to long-lasting goods and greater with regards to services.
The rise in investment slowed by 6.2 percent in general, partly linked to reduced spending on goods and a slow-down in spending on other products.
Investment in building rose by two points to show a 5.8 percent rise compared with the same quarter in 2005.
GDP rose by 8 percent compared with the first quarter in 2005.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news