The Spanish economy grew by 2.5% in 2018, half a point less than in 2017 and its lowest increase since 2014, despite advancing in the last quarter of the year by 0.7%, one tenth above what progressed in the three previous quarters, according to the data advance of the Quarterly National Accounts published this Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
This rate of 2.5% coincides with the estimates of the Bank of Spain, the IMF and the average consensus of the main study services, but not with the official forecasts of the Government, which pointed to a growth of 2.6% in the whole of 2018. In any case, the data are still provisional and will be known at the disaggregated level on March 29.
The growth of 0.7% registered in the fourth quarter of 2018, which does coincide with the expectations of the Government (the Bank of Spain estimated a lower increase of 0.6%), has accelerated one tenth of the experienced in the three previous quarters.
With this quarterly increase in GDP, 21 consecutive quarters of increases have already accumulated. For its part, the year-on-year GDP rate remained at 2.4% in the fourth quarter of 2018.
According to the INE, the growth of 2.5% achieved in the whole of last year is due to a contribution of national demand of 2.9 points, similar to what happened in 2017, while the external demand subtracted four tenths of a point GDP advance, five tenths below the figure for 2017.
The value of GDP at current prices in 2018 stood at 1,206,878 million euros, 3.5% higher than in 2017.
Employment, measured in terms of full-time equivalent jobs, increased at an interannual rate of 2.6% in the fourth quarter, one tenth more than in the previous quarter, which means the creation in a year of 463,000 jobs of full-time equivalent work.