The Basque Country is one of the most important industrial concentrations in Spain. The regional gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 was at €68,817m, which is the highest in recent years. The available Eurostat figures (2018) show, in 2016, a GDP per capita in purchasing power standards (PPS) of 35,300, value which is far above the national (26,700) and EU28 (29,200) average (Eurostat, 2018).
Services generate 63% of the GDP in market prices, while industry generates 29.9% (of which manufacturing industries represent 26.3%), construction 5.9% and agriculture and fisheries 0.8%. The unemployment rate in 2017 was 11.3% (Spain: 17.2%; EU28: 7.6%), corresponding to 115,300 people, which the lowest since 2013 (Eurostat, 2018). The youth unemployment rate, including those between 16 and 24 years old increased from 19.5% in 2008 to 41.4% in 2015.
The Basque Country’s economy has been strongly manufacturing-based since the beginning of the 20th century. In 2016, manufacturing accounts for 46.7% of industrial gross value added (GVA) and 25.4% of total GDP. However, the 2008 economic crisis has had a significant negative impact on the region’s manufacturing activities, causing a structural shift in the above mentioned shares.
The Industrial production is diverse. All of the activities derived from metal, such as the production of steel and machine-tools, are very important. However, other sectors such as the chemical and petrochemical industry and refineries are also noteworthy, accounting for a very significant part of the region's GDP. In short, the strongest industrial sectors of the Basque economy are machinery, aeronautics and energy. New technologies and research and development (R&D) initiatives are becoming very relevant, and the same applies to technology parks. Basque companies manufacture a wide variety of capital goods, durable goods and other intermediate products.