6 May 2004
MADRID – The Spanish economy shows signs of slowing down, according to a government report published Thursday – but consumer confidence was not affected by the terrorist attacks in Madrid.
The Economy Ministry said though productivity continued to be strong, between January and March there were some signs of the pace of economic progress decreasing.
It compared the performance of the past three months to the previous quarter.
The report analysed indicators such as employment levels, the amount of electricity used and the amount of cement sold for the construction industry which showed that the economy was still healthy.
But it highlighted Spain was now importing slightly more than it is exporting, in the main because it lacks many natural resources.
Industrial production was still also going at a steady but slower rate, analysts said.
In respect of the building industry, various indicators showed this sector was ‘decelerating’ in the first three months of the year.
But it was still at a high and healthy level.
The report concluded: “It is premature to say that this produced a major change in this sector.”
From the point of view of consumers, the report pointed to “favourable signs”, pointing to the rise in the sales of cars and a increase in retail sales.
Consumer confidence has not been affected by the terrorist attacks on 11 March, the report added.
A report by the Bank of Spain Tuesday found that the gross national product had risen 2.8 percent in the first quarter of the year – 0.1 percent up on the previous quarter.
It echoed government claims that the Madrid terrorist attacks had not damaged economic performance in Spain.
Earlier reports said that tourism had not suffered serious setbacks.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news