MADRID, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Spanish gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.5 percent in 2022, surpassing an earlier expectation of 4.4 percent by the Spanish government, according to data published on Friday by the Spanish Statistical Office (INE).
This figure has put to shame even more optimistic forecasts, such as the 4.7 percent expected for 2022 by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the 5.2 percent forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The 2022 growth rate was the same as in 2021, indicating that Spain has left behind the years of economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The growth was partly due to a 3.1 percent rise in internal demand, coupled with a 2.4 percent increase in external demand.
Last year also saw a 0.7 percent fall in public spending -- the first such year since 2014. On the positive side, however, last year's 4.6 percent increase in investments was the biggest recorded since 2018.
Nadia Calvino, Spain's economy minister and deputy prime minister, interpreted the results as a testimony to the "dynamism and strength" of the Spanish economy, which continued to perform well in a difficult international context, marked by the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in February 2022.
On the downside, the GDP growth in the last quarter of 2022 slowed to 0.2 percent, which was coupled with a 1.8 percent fall in household spendings and a 3.7 percent contraction in investment volumes.
This has prompted the Bank of Spain to make a more cautious GDP growth projection of 1.6 percent for 2023, with a steady growth of 2.3 percent expected in 2024 and 2.1 percent in 2025.