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5. Economic structure

The structure of the Spanish economy is that of a developed country, with the services sector being the main contributor to GDP, followed by industry. In 2020, these two sectors represented, almost 91% of Spain’s GDP, with agriculture’s share today representing 3.44% of the total GDP, having declined sharply as a result of the country’s economic growth (see Table 4).

Table 4

STRUCTURE OF GDP (% OF TOTAL, CURRENT PRICES)
Sector201820192020
Agriculture and fishery3.05%2.88%3.44%
Industry16.12%16.15%16.30%
Construction6.11%6.43%6.16%
Services74.72%74.54%74.10%
Source: National Statistics Institute.

Throughout 2020 the impact of the COVID-19 public health crisis was felt by the Spanish economy due, principally, to the implementation of measures to contain the pandemic. This entailed a change with respect to the growth trend which began in the second half of 2013. Nonetheless, during the fourth quarter of 2020, the GDP improved its projections for recovery by recording a variation of 0.4%12 in the quarter-on-quarter rate with respect to the preceding quarter in terms of volume. Thus, although the year-on-year growth of the GDP amounted to -9.1%13, the projections made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) show a recovery of the Spanish economy in 2021 and 2022, with respect to the downturn seen in 2020, boosted by the approval of the vaccines and the backing of political recovery measures.

Moreover, inflation in Spain has been falling slowly since the end of the 1980s. Average inflation between 1987 and 1992 was 5.8%; it dropped below 5% for the first time in 1993, and it has been shrinking gradually since then. The year-on-year inflation rate at December 2020 was -0.5%, three tenths above that recorded in the preceding month, due mainly to a drop in the prices of tour packages and of food and non-alcoholic beverages. On the other hand, the positive influence on the evolution of the annual rate relates to the increase in electricity, heating oil and fuel prices, which have recovered positively in the housing and transport groups.

Table 5

GROWTH FOR OECD COUNTRIES (%)
Real GDP Growth
201820192020
EU countries
Germany1.30.6-5.3
France1.81.5-8.2
Italy0.80.3-8.9
United Kingdom1.31.4-9.9
Spain2.42.0-11.0
Other countries
United States3.02.2-3.5
Japan0.60.3-4.8
Total Euro Zone1.91.3-6.8
Total OECD2.41.6-4.9
Source: OECD Quarterly National Accounts.

12National Institute of Statistics, Quarterly National Accounts of Spain. Principal Aggregates. Fourth Quarter of 2020.
13National Institute of Statistics, Quarterly National Accounts of Spain. Principal Aggregates, Fourth Quarter of 2020.