ECONOMY

Government ups growth forecasts to 1.2% in 2014 and 1.8% in 2015

Estimates will be officially announced when Madrid sends Brussels its stability program next week

Economy Minister Luis de Guindos (second from left) with other ministers after the Friday Cabinet meeting.
Economy Minister Luis de Guindos (second from left) with other ministers after the Friday Cabinet meeting.SUSANA VERA (REUTERS)

Two days after stating that the Spanish economy will grow an average of 1.5% in 2014 and 2015, sources briefed on the matter said the government is expecting these figures to be 1.2% this year and 1.8% the next.

The new estimates will be officially announced next week, when Madrid sends Brussels its stability program, the same sources said.

The new growth forecast for 2014 is significantly higher than the previous figure of 0.7%, while the 2015 estimate is six tenths of a point higher than the executive’s most recent forecast for 2015.

The new numbers are in line with the Bank of Spain’s own forecasts (1.2% for 2014 and 1.7% for 2015), as well as those of all the main Spanish financial research services (1.0% this year and 1.8% the next), and the European Commission (1.0% and 1.7%).

The International Monetary Fund is a little less optimistic, forecasting growth of 0.9% in 2014 and 1.0% in 2015.

Economic figures seem to support these growth forecasts. Preliminary estimates released on Thursday by the Bank of Spain put first-quarter GDP growth at 0.4%. If confirmed, it will be the greatest quarterly increase in the last six years.

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