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Spain cuts 2023 growth forecast over war in Ukraine

Spain on Tuesday slashed its growth forecast for 2023, mainly due to the fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and higher interest rates.

The gross domestic product of the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy is now expected to expand by 2.7 percent instead of the 3.5 percent previously forecast, Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said.

The Ukraine conflict “is having major economic and social consequences at the global level and for this reason all economic bodies and governments are revising down their growth forecasts,” she told a news conference.

The Spanish economy will also suffer from the “tightening of monetary conditions” linked to the rise in interest rates and the economic slowdown expected in the eurozone which will hurt exports.

The government maintained nevertheless is growth forecast of 4.3 percent for 2022.

It had initially envisaged a growth of 6.0 percent for this year, reasoning that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic would ease, but in April it revised its forecast because of the war in Ukraine.

The minister stressed that Spain’s GDP growth in both 2022 and 2023 would still be higher than that of other major European economies despite the “very uncertain context” marked by “strong geopolitical tensions”.

The European Commission predicts the Spanish economy will expand by 4.0 percent in 2022 and by 2.1 percent next year.

It sees growth of 1.4 percent in Germany this year and of 1.3 percent next year.

The Commission expects the French economy will expand by 2.4 percent in 2022 and by 1.4 percent in 2023.