Spain Economy  

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SPAIN

GDP (2008): $1,402 billion in current prices (seventh-largest Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development--OECD--economy).
Annual growth rate: .9%.
Per capita GDP: $34,600.
Budget: Income ............. $598 Billion
Expenditure ... $659Billion

Main Crops:
Grain, vegetables, olives, wine grapes, sugar beets, citrus; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish

Natural Resources:
Coal, lignite, iron ore, uranium, mercury, pyrites, fluorspar, gypsum, zinc, lead, tungsten,copper, kaolin, potash, hydropower

Major Industries:
Textiles and apparel (including footwear), food and beverages, metals and metal manufactures,chemicals, shipbuilding, automobiles, machine tools, tourism
NATIONAL GNP

Spain's accession to the European Community--now European Union (EU)--in January 1986 required the country to open its economy, modernize its industrial base, improve infrastructure, and revise economic legislation to conform to EU guidelines. In doing so, Spain increased gross domestic product (GDP) growth, reduced the public debt to GDP ratio, reduced unemployment from 23% to 15% in 3 years, and reduced inflation to under 3%. The fundamental challenges remaining for Spain include reducing the public sector deficit, decreasing unemployment further, reforming labor laws and investment regulations, lowering inflation, and raising per capita GDP.

Following peak growth years in the late 1980s, the Spanish economy entered into recession in mid-1992. The economy recovered during the first Aznar administration (1996-2000), driven by a return of consumer confidence and increased private consumption, although growth has slowed in recent years. Unemployment remains a problem at 10.5% (2004 est.), but this still represents a significant improvement from previous levels. Devaluations of the peseta during the 1990s made Spanish exports more competitive, but the strength of the euro since its adoption has raised recent concerns that Spanish exports are being priced out of the range of foreign buyers. However, this has been offset by the facilitation of trade among the euro nations.