The GDP of Catalonia increased by 1.5% during 2014, according to the definitive figures released by the Catalan Statistics Institute (Idescat) on Friday. However, on the same day, the Spanish Statistics Institute (INE) published its economic growth figures for 2014 and announced that the Catalan economy had grown by 1.4% last year, the same rate as Spain. In any case, both figures are quite positive after many years of economic crisis and slowdown. In fact, 2014 has been the best year since 2007, when the Catalan economy grew by 3.2% according to the Idescat. The final figure for 2014 is higher than the provisional 1.2% growth rate previously announced. Following European Union instructions, the calculations for last year include R&D activities, as well as prostitution and trafficking of drugs and tobacco.
Catalonia’s service sector grew by 1.8%, the industrial sector increased by 1.5% and the primary sector grew by 1%. Construction improved its result after years of decline, decreasing by only 1.6% in 2014 (in 2013 it dropped by 8.1%). After 5 years of consecutive decreases in internal consumption rates, this has increased by 2.6%, which has contributed to fostering the economic recovery. Exports increased by 4.1% but the increase of imports made the external sector register a -0.9% decrease.
Looking at the figures for the 4th quarter, the service sector saw a 2.4% growth compared to the last quarter of 2013. In addition, construction also registered a 2.9% growth when compared to the figures from October-December 2013 and sees its first positive figures since the economic crisis started. However, the industrial and agricultural sectors slowed at the end of 2014, after a strong start to the year.
Regarding the INE statistics, Catalonia grew by 1.4% in 2014, with the Spanish economy also growing by 1.4%, and that of the EU by 1.3%. Catalonia experienced the 9th biggest growth among the Autonomous Communities, after La Rioja (2.5%), Extremadura and Canaries (2.2%), Valencia (2.1%), Navarra (2%), Murcia Region (2%), the Balearic Islands (1.9%) and Aragón (1.7%). Catalonia registered better results than the rest of the main industrial areas with a strong service sector, such as Andalusia (1.3%), the Basque Country (1.2%) and the Madrid Region (1%).
In 2014, Catalonia’s GDP per capita was 26,996 euros, which is 18.5% above the Spanish average (€22,780). The Madrid Region, which benefits from the accounts of multinationals and Spanish Ministries, had a GDP of 31,005 euros per capita, 36.1% above the Spanish average. In the other extreme there is Extremadura, with a GDP per capita of €15,752 (30.9% below the Spanish average).
Source and photo: Catalan News Agency