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What recovery? Spanish reject economic 'spin'

George Mills · 6 Aug 2015, 12:33

Published: 06 Aug 2015 12:33 GMT+02:00

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In the lead-in to Spanish general elections later this year, the Spanish Prime Minister has been keen to stress positive macroeconomic news coming out of the country.

Spain’s economy grew one-percent from April to June, the fastest rate since the start of the global financial crisis in 2007.

The government has also raised its economic growth forecast for this year to 3.3 percent — more than twice the 1.5 percent average rate forecast by Brussels for the Eurozone, and the sort of growth rate countries like France and Germany can only dream about.

There has even been a turnaround in unemployment, which has come down to 22.7 percent and is expecting to keep falling to below the 20-percent mark in 2016.

But the latest monthly poll from government research institute the Sociological Investigation Centre (CIS) shows Spaniards are yet to feel the impact of their export-led recovery.

Just 0.2 percent of the 2,500-odd people surveyed by the CIS said they believed the country’s economy is in "very good" shape, while only 3.5 percent were willing to volunteer they thought it was in "good" shape.

Meanwhile, around four in ten people consider Spain’s economy to be in a "bad" state and 25 percent of respondents prefer to describe it as "very bad".

There’s not a lot of optimism on show either. While around one in five people think things will improve over the next 12 months, some 75 percent think the economic situation will "stay the same" or "get worse".

The poll is further evidence that Spain’s economy recovery remains uneven.

While the country has seen jobs growth, the vast majority of the new employment is made up of temporary contracts

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A breakdown of the jobs filled from January to March 2015 shows that a quarter of jobs lasted for a period of just seven days, many of these in the hotel industry.

Similarly, only 6.7 percent of all the jobs created in the first quarter of 2015 were permanent positions.

Spain's budget deficit also remains stubbornly high, standing at 5.8 percent of GDP at the end of 2014. The government has set a deficit target of 4.2 percent be end of 2015 and 2.8 percent in 2016.

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George Mills (george.mills@thelocal.com)

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