Country snapshots 2017-18: Spain

Still high unemployment

The Spanish economy has grown strongly in 2016, led by domestic demand spurred by easy monetary policy in the euro area and a fiscal stimulus. The expansionary phase is expected to continue in 2017 and 2018, with domestic demand leading the recovery, albeit at a slower pace as some factors that have contributed to boost consumption, such as low oil prices and lower taxes, will recede. Inflation will gradually pick up as the effects of low oil prices diminish, but pressures will remain moderate due to still high unemployment. 

The unemployment rate is declining, but remains high, at about 19%. While falling, high long-term and youth unemployment pose particularly acute challenges. More effective active labour market policies and re-skilling are needed, along with a recovery in demand. Boosting living standards in the medium term hinges on increasing productivity via higher investment in innovation, strengthening skills and more intense competition.

GDP growth


Current prices EUR billion




% real change



1 025.6 3.2 2.3 2.2


©OECD Observer No 308 Q4 2016            

Economic data

GDP growth: -9.8% Q2/Q1 2020 2020
Consumer price inflation: 1.3% Sep 2020 annual
Trade (G20): -17.7% exp, -16.7% imp, Q2/Q1 2020
Unemployment: 7.3% Sep 2020
Last update: 10 Nov 2020

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