Catalonia's macroeconomic forecasts for 2017 were revised upwards by the Ministry of the Vice-presidency and of the Economy and Finance. According to these data, the Catalan economy will grow by 2.9% this year, two tenths over the first estimate published in November last year (2.7%). In absolute terms, GDP will reach a total value of €233.78 billion in 2017, €10 billion more than in 2016.
This new macroeconomic framework gives continuity to the expansionary cycle of the Catalan economy, which began in 2014. As regards the 2018 fiscal year, the Department expects GDP to increase by 2.6%, to €244.1 billion.
Domestic demand, a driver of growth
Domestic demand will continue to be the main contributor to growth for the Catalan economy, together with the positive contribution of exterior trade balance. Thus, in 2017, 82.7% of growth (2.4 percentual points) is expected to stem from domestic demand, while the remaining 17.3% (0.5 percentual points) will be attributable to exterior trade balance. As regards 2018, exterior balance is expected to carry more weight, with a contribution of 19.2% to growth. Domestic demand will account for 80.8%.
As has been the case in the past few years, positive developments in the economy will translate into an improvement of the job market. Employment (measured in terms of full-time equivalents) will rise by 2.6% in 2017 and 2.4% in 2018; 80,300 new jobs will be created in 2017, and 76,000 in 2018. Average unemployment rates will decrease to 13.5% and 11.6% respectively.