Catalan GDP closes 2021 with a 5.9% increase

The figure is five tenths below the Government's latest forecasts and exceeds the Spanish average by far

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After the historic setback of a 11.5% fall in the first year of the pandemic, in 2021 the Catalan GDP recovered at least partly. The economy recorded an annual increase of 5.9% last year, according to the advanced estimate published Friday by Idescat. According to the statistical agency, this data reflects "the progressive recovery" of economic activity after the impact of the covid, but still does not reach pre-pandemic levels.

This increase is five tenths below the Generalitat's last forecast, which predicted a growth of 6.4% for both 2021 and 2022. Even so, the momentum of the Catalan economy is well above the 5% improvement recorded by Spain as a whole, according to data advanced by the National Institute of Statistics last week.

Idescat has confirmed that this return to economic normality throughout 2021 has been "uneven", because it has not affected all sectors homogeneously and has been highly conditioned by external factors such as the increase in energy prices and supply problems in production chains.

Boosting services

In this regard, the engine of growth during 2021 was the area hardest hit at the start of the pandemic. Services grew by 6.3% and branches such as hospitality or air transport again increased turnover, although without achieving the sales of 2019, Idescat has highlighted. On the other hand, companies related to business services did recover the pace of activity prior to covid.

Catalan industry, one of the areas considered strategic for the country's economy, rebounded by 5.6% and showed a generalised improvement in most subsectors, with the exception of motor vehicle manufacturing, the main casualty of the lack of materials such as semiconductors. Compared to manufacturing and services, construction and agriculture recorded very modest growth of 1.8% and 1.5%, respectively.