The Economy of Spain

The economy of Spain is the ninth-largest economy in the world, based on nominal GDP comparisons, and the fifth-largest in Europe. It is regarded as the world’s 15th most developed country. Spain’s economy had been credited with having avoided the virtual zero growth rate of some of its largest partners in the EU.

The Spanish government official GDP growth forecast for 2008 in April was 2.3%. This figure was successively revised down by the Spanish Ministry of Economy to 1.6. In reality, this rate effectively represented stagnant GDP per person due to Spain’s high population growth, itself the result of a high rate of immigration.

Since the 1990s some Spanish companies have gained multinational status, often expending their activities in culturally closed Latin America. Spain is the second biggest foreign investor there, after the United States. Others have expanded into Asia, especially China.

During the last four decades the Spanish tourism industry has grown to become the second biggest in the world, worth approximately 40 billion Euros, about 5% of GDP, in 2006. Being the second tourism destination in the world, Spain has a tourism industry sector which contributes nearly 11% to the country’s GDP employing about 2 million of the total labour force.

The automobile industry in Spain is a large employer in the country, employing 9% of the total workforce in 2009 and contributing to 3.3% of the Spanish GDP, despite the decline due to the economic recession of the past couples of years. In 2009, Spain was in the top ten of the largest automobile producer countries in the world.