Spanish economy grows by 0.7 pct in Q1

The Spanish economy grew by 0.7 percent in the first three months of 2019, according to data published by the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE) on Friday.

The INE figures mean that Spain has now experienced 22 quarters of consecutive growth, while Friday’s data also shows Spain’s GDP grew faster than in the last quarter of 2018, when it increased by 0.6 percent.

One of the reasons for the improvement is a rise in investment, which contracted at the end of last year, but grew by 0.2 percent during the first quarter of this year.

Consumer spending is another factor of the continued growth in Spain, with household spending rising by 0.4 percent — the same as in public administrations, while spending in non-profit making organizations increased by 0.7 percent.

Friday’s data means that Spain’s GDP grew by 2.4 percent for the 12-month period from April 1, 2018 to the end of March 2019, with internal demand (which went up by 2.2 percent over the period) the main motor of economic growth.

The data came a day after the Bank of Spain (BOE) published its quarterly report which warned that Spain will see a “slight slowdown” in growth for the second quarter of the year, with GDP predicted to rise by 0.6 percent.

Nevertheless, the BOE expressed its optimism that Spain will see a “prolongation in the expansive phase” of its economy, while at the same time advising that external factors such as trade tensions and the Brexit could have a negative effect.