• P&A The INE reviews this Monday the GDP since 1995: why has the controversy arisen?
  • Forecasts Spain holds up better than the EU but experts warn: the economic slowdown arrives

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Spain grew by 6.4% in 2021 and 5.8% in 2022, and not by 5.5% as initially advanced by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), according to the review published on Monday by this agency from 1995 to 2022.

This means that in the last two years the country's economic growth was 1.2 points higher than previously believed and that the Spanish economy recovered the level of production prior to the pandemic (that of 2019) already in 2022 and not this year as was believed.

The agency has moderated the fall in GDP that occurred in 2020, due to the pandemic, to -11.2%, but this still represents the largest recession in the recent history of the Spanish economy.

"It is confirmed that growth in 2021 and 2022 was higher than estimated, driven by private consumption, the good performance of the foreign sector and the better performance of the manufacturing industry and professional and scientific activities. This dynamism is maintained in a differential way during 2023 and will allow Spain to be the country of the large economies of the euro zone that has the highest economic growth, "said the Ministry of Economic Affairs when knowing the data.

This higher than expected growth implies that the GDP of the Spanish economy is worth 20,000 million euros more than initially estimated, with data at the end of 2022, so that all the variables that are calculated in relation to GDP, such as public debt or deficit, will have improved.

The Ministry has advanced that the debt-to-GDP ratio would have been reduced by an additional 1.5 points in 2022, due to this 'denominator effect', which "would allow anticipating the fiscal objectives set in the Stability Programme, bringing forward to 2023 the reduction below 110%".

This revision published this Monday by the INE is considered usual, since the agency supervises the data published with some frequency, but it had generated a lot of expectation since, given the measurement difficulties that were generated during the pandemic, it was expected that the revision would be upward and substantial.

It is also something that has also happened in other European countries, such as the United Kingdom, which last week revised its accumulated growth for 2 and 2021 upwards by 2022 points.

More consumption and less investment

For 2022, a lower contribution from domestic demand is now estimated (2.9 points compared to the previous 3.1) and a greater contribution from external demand (2.9 points compared to 2.4 previously).

Private consumption grew more than expected (3.4%, compared with 3.0% previously estimated) with a 4.7% rebound in household consumption (compared to 4.4% advanced), while investment -measured by gross capital formation- only grew by 1.4% and not by 3.5% as previously believed.

With regard to external demand, "and in line with the revision of the results of the balance of payments", explains the INE, the increase in volume of exports stood at 15.2%, compared to 14.4% estimated in March. On the other hand, imports grew by 7.0%, compared to 7.9% previously.

  • INE