Catalan GDP grows 0.7% in the first quarter of 2017
Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan economy is getting stronger, according to the latest growth figures published on Thursday by the Catalan Ministry of Economy and the Office of Statistics (IDESCAT). Catalan GDP grew 0.7% between January and March, a 0.2% increase in comparison to the two previous quarters. The labor market is also improving, with April figures showing the largest decrease in unemployment in that month in 21 years. With 425,751 people without a job, Catalonia is reaching the pre-crisis levels of unemployment. The official data shows that unemployment fell by 4.54% between March and April 2017, and by 12% year-on-year.
The official GDP figures show that growth in the industrial sector was strong, at 3%, continuing a trend started in 2014 that sees production figures in Catalonia peaking at higher levels than in the rest of the Eurozone. The construction sector is also growing strongly, by 6.3% in the first quarter of the year, particularly due to the recovery in housing. The service sector is stabilizing at 2.2%, while tourism grew by 4%.
Foreign tourist spending increases by 8.2%
On the same day as Catalonia released its new GDP and unemployment figures, data about foreign tourism spending was also published. Tourists spent up to €938 million in the first three months of 2017, an average daily expenditure of €171, with stays lasting for an average 5 days and a half. These figures show an 8.2% increase in comparison to the same period last year. Catalonia ranks as the second territory in the Spanish State where foreign tourists spent more money, after the Canary Islands.