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Think-tank lowers Spain GDP growth estimate

25 March 2008

MADRID – Funcas, the think-tank, of the Spanish association of savings banks, on Monday said it had cut its forecast for growth in Spain’s GDP for this year to 2.5 percent, with the expected slowdown to be "more intense" domestically than in the rest of Europe.

Funcas’ previous estimate was for growth of 2.8 percent. The government is sticking to a target of 3.1 percent but both the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund put the figure at only 2.7 percent.

Funcas forecast a further slowdown to growth of 2.1 percent in 2009, with a fall in investment in construction of 0.9 percent. Exports, however, will outstrip imports for the first time since 1997.

[Copyright El Pais / ADRIAN SOTO 2008]