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Situation in Catalonia having ‘less negative’ impact than expected on GDP

Bank of Spain increases 2018 growth forecast to 2.7%

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20 March 2018 02:35 PM

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ACN | Madrid

The political situation in Catalonia has had a “less negative” impact on Spain’s GDP as previously forecast months ago, according to the Bank of Spain.

Spain’s growth forecast for 2018 was increased by three decimals to 2.7% by the financial body, as stated in a report published on Tuesday. Last December, however, the bank had decreased the forecast GDP to 2.4% due to “the increased uncertainty related to the situation in Catalonia.”

Indeed, in December, the political conflict between Catalonia and Spain was in full swing, with Madrid effectively running the country, and many Catalan government members either in jail or abroad as the general election loomed.

The Bank of Spain acknowledged a recent “decrease in uncertainty in Catalonia” despite the country still being without an operational government, three months on from the December 21 election in which pro-independence forces won the ballot. The entity also stated that “a clash of tensions negatively impacting confidence and activity cannot be ruled out.”

Calls for “normalization” of political situation

Meanwhile, the tourist sector in the country has warned that the fall in hotel bookings will continue throughout 2018.

The president of Sercotel Hotels, Marisol Turró, called for normality at a debate on the sector held on Tuesday.

“An image of normality and calm must be given to the rest of the world and Spain. A government must be formed, and a new period of normalization begun,” she said. “The media do not help us. There was drama on October 1, with police beating up citizens, and they are being shown everyday on television,” she added, also highlighting the need for an  eradication of anti-tourism sentiments.

"An image of normality and tranquility must be given to the rest of the world and to Spain. To be governed by government and to start a normalization stage. The media do not help us. There was a drama on 1-O, with police bumping the citizens, but they are being pulled out every day on television. Calm and quiet must be taken. It is necessary to eradicate the phobic tourism by telling the citizens how they had their neighborhoods before 92

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