Madrid, March 25 (IANS) Spain's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.5 per cent in 2022, surpassing an earlier expectation of 4.4 per cent by the government, according to official data.
The data published on Friday by the Spanish Statistical Office (INE) also revealed that this figure has put to shame even more optimistic forecasts, such as the 4.7 per cent expected for 2022 by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the 5.2 per cent forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), reports Xinhua news agency.
The 2022 growth rate was the same as in 2021, indicating that Spain has left behind the years of economic hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The growth was partly due to a 3.1 per cent rise in internal demand, coupled with a 2.4 per cent increase in external demand.
Last year also saw a 0.7 per cent fall in public spending -- the first such year since 2014.
On the positive side, however, last year's 4.6 per cent increase in investments was the biggest recorded since 2018.
Nadia Calvino, Spain's economy minister and deputy prime minister, interpreted the results as a testimony to the "dynamism and strength" of the economy, which continued to perform well in a difficult international context, marked by the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February 2022.
On the downside, the GDP growth in the last quarter of 2022 slowed to 0.2 per cent, which was coupled with a 1.8 per cent fall in household spendings and a 3.7 per cent contraction in investment volumes.
This has prompted the Bank of Spain to make a more cautious GDP growth projection of 1.6 per cent for 2023, with a steady growth of 2.3 per cent expected in 2024 and 2.1 per cent in 2025.
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