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Spain edges toward recovery

The crisis was destructive and changed the rules in Europe. Spain seems to be getting back on its feet after seven years of struggle.

2016-04-18

Spain edges toward recovery

Spain seems to be getting back on its feet after seven years of struggle. The Economist sees two more years of gross domestic product growth in the 2 to 3 percent range, which would mean GDP has grown for three years in-a-row. The magazine also reports an uptick in Spain’s industrial production last year, in line with the growth in GDP, and notes that the country’s unemployment rate is decreasing.

Even the construction sector, once the envy of the Western world before falling dramatically to a low baseline, appears to be progressing again, at least in its big cities of Barcelona and Madrid, where the number of new housing permits increased steadily throughout 2015.

Jon de Olabarria, secretary general of the Spanish aluminium association AEA, says this is news worth reading for suppliers of extruded aluminium solutions. “As for the domestic market – the prospects for recovery – the outlooks from both our government and from international organizations make us cautiously optimistic in the extrusion industry,” says de Olabarria.

De Olabarria says the automotive and transport sectors in Spain posted better-than-average performances during the crisis and should emerge stronger this year. The short-term outlook for traditional industries is less certain, he says, adding that these “may depend on government policies and the support they receive.”

With regard to the construction sector, he has his fingers crossed. Spain has announced new requirements in its building sector as part of its participation in the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program, which will make energy efficiency a priority. “The building sector could finally show signs of life, with growth clearly above the EU average,” he says. 

Text Kevin Widlic
Photo Getty Images, F. J. Fdez. Bordonada