Spanish domestic demand grows along with external deficit

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But this is precisely the most worrying aspect of the incipient recovery. Domestic demand has substituted exports as the driving force of the economy, which would be positive if it did not entail a slight deterioration of the external accounts. Thus, exports only grew by 2.3% in the first seven months of the year, whereas in 2013 they grey by 5.4%.

The data could be worse data considering the world economy has also slowed, but the fact remains that imports have shot up by 9.1% versus the 3.1% of 2013. Furthermore, the appetite for imports was focused on capital goods (investment) and also on automobiles and consumer durable goods. It seems that all this has revived the classic vice within the Spanish economy: when it starts to grow, it leads to an unsustainable increase of the external deficit. That’s why the current account returned into the red.

 *Image: Daniel Lobo.

About the Author

Joan Tapia
Former editor of La Vanguardia, El Noticiero Universal and Spanish public TV channel in Catalonia, Joan Tapia also advised the Minister of Economy and Finance of Spain’s first Socialist Government. One of the country’s most veteran journalists, Mr Tapia also holds a Law degree and founded La Caixa’s Information and External Relations Department. He is a regular columnist for some media outlets both in Catalan and Spanish, and a member of the Royal Academy of Economic and Financial Sciences.

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