IMF makes slight reduction to Spain’s 2016 growth forecast

Economy will grow 2.6%, a tenth of a point less than the world body had predicted in January

The IMF Spring Meetings are taking place in Washington DC this weekend.
The IMF Spring Meetings are taking place in Washington DC this weekend.MANDEL NGAN (AFP)

This time, the Spanish economy did not escape the general downward revisions that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been so fond of lately.

While Spain continues to be the fastest-growing member of the advanced economies, the world body has slightly cut its growth forecast for 2016, down to 2.6% from the 2.7% it predicted in January.

Since 2013, the organization presided by Christine Lagarde has been praising the reforms made by the Mariano Rajoy administration

For 2017, the forecast is maintained at 2.3%, the same as the January report expected.

The review is part of the World Economic Outlook report, presented as an introduction to the IMF’s Spring Meetings, which are being held in Washington DC from April 15 to 17.

Though slight, the downward revision of Spain’s growth prospects is the first since October 2013. The global situation has played a role, but so has the country’s own political uncertainty following nearly four months of a caretaker government.

The world body’s calculations are in line with those of Spanish experts, who are expecting to see 2.7% growth this year and 2.3% in 2017. In September, the Spanish government issued a more optimistic growth forecast of 3%.

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The IMF also says that the Spanish jobless rate will continue to hover around 19.7% by the end of the year, and come down to 18.3% in 2017.

Since 2013, the organization presided by Christine Lagarde has been praising the reforms made by the administration of acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, and has been continually raising the country’s growth prospects. But it has also been warning about Spain’s inability to meet its EU deficit targets. Finance Minister Cristóbal Montoro recently announced that Spain widely missed its target for 2015.

English version by Susana Urra.

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