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May 16, 2017

The economy of Catalonia closed the first quarter of 2017 with an excellent performance

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The economy of Catalonia closed the first quarter of 2017 with an excellent performance

The Catalan economy is clearly gaining momentum of growth during the current 2017. At least this is indicated by the findings of a study carried out and prepared by the Statistics Institute of Catalonia (Idescat) together with the Department of Economics and Finance of The City Council of Catalonia. The results point out to a growth of 0.7% on a quarterly basis, which is one tenth less than the whole of Spain. Compared with the first quarter of last year, however, Catalonia's GDP increased by 2.5% thanks to a significant improvement of the construction sector and industry.

During 2016 the data provided by the Catalan executive body have already been backed by the growth of the industrial production sector which will continue its positive trend in 2017. Now it will also be joined by the sector of textiles, clothing production, leather and footwear; production and supply of water; and the pharmaceuticals sector. Construction, for its part, also continued to gain strength: in the first quarter of this year, this sector of Catalonia's economy grew by 6.3% in annual terms, due in particular to the construction of residential properties in Catalonia. Therefore, construction has become a sector that has grown more than others, compared to the previous year.

The number of new construction projects reveals significant relative growth, although it is still at a rather moderate level. These data show a slight improvement of the official tender, although changes in government budgets do not allow predicting with certainty, if the public works will be restarted soon.

In addition, the service sector, after registration of a strong growth in the last two years, has been moderating its pace since the middle of last year, and the figures for the first quarter of 2017 show certain stabilization: annual growth was by 2.2 %, compared to 2.3% in the previous quarter.

In terms of tourism in Catalonia, statistics show that the volume of foreign tourists increased by 4% per year during the first three months of 2017, and the number of overnight stays was also positive.

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