In its newly released autumn forecast the EU body predicts that Spain’s GDP will grow by 3.1 percent in 2017 (up from 2.8 percent in a previous prediction) and 2.5 percent in 2018 (up from 2.4 percent). It also expects Spanish unemployment to drop to 14 percent by 2019 – down from the high of 26 percent in 2013.
But the Catalonia crisis could change things. While “the reaction of markets to recent events in Catalonia has been restrained,” according to Brussels, “future events could have an impact on growth, although the intensity of that effect cannot be anticipated”.
In October Spain’s government cut its economic growth forecast for 2018 from 2.6 percent to 2.3 percent, saying the political crisis in Catalonia was creating uncertainty.