SPAIN - Currently in the midst of a century long economic golden age?

Essay by elhefeUniversity, Master'sA+, May 2004

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In 1991, the Spanish and world economic trends diverged. The Spanish economy has continued to grow at a faster pace (2.4% in GDP terms) than the Twelve (1.3% on average) . Indeed, a member country, the United Kingdom, even went into recession, during this period with its GDP falling 1.4% (appendix 4). Nonetheless, Spain's current account deficit has remained a matter of concern (2.9% of GDP in 1991). The State deficit was not cut down and widened to 4.4% of GDP. Inflation in turn had risen to 5.9% by the end of 1991 . But the most negative feature was the decline of total employment, which drove up the rate of unemployment to 16.1% (appendix 2) of the active population.

But in 1992, the situation of the Spanish economy was very different from that of a decade or two earlier. Of total investment, which accounts for 25 points of GDP, about 2.2

points represented foreign investment (appendix 3), an inflow that has continued since then. The economy has become more exposed to foreign competition (by cutting down tariffs and dismantling other trade barriers), and at the same time there are more opportunities for Spanish exports. Future growth is tied to export growth. In 1991, foreign trade accounted for 29% of GDP .

The Single European Market is now presenting a new challenge to Spain's foreign trade. In addition, the Spanish economy is expected to become even more closely integrated over the next few years through the Single European Market and the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). It is also expected to expand throughout the European Economic Area (EEA) and by means of future enlargements of the European Community (European Union, today), as well as internationally, as a result of the globalization of markets. In addition, the possible reduction...