Country report Spain - Work Package 1 Ex post evaluation of Cohesion Policy programmes 2007-2013, focusing on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF)
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Over the 2007-2013 period, the Spanish economy suffered a deep and persistent recession. The GDP fell by almost 1.3% a year in 2007-2009 and it declined further up until 2014, when it increased for the first time for many years. Over the period, the GDP per head in PPS terms, which was above the EU average until 2009, fell to 91% of the EU average by 2013 and remained there in 2014. The recession led to significant job losses, the employment rate declining from 70% of those aged 20-64 in 2007 to just 60% in 2014 and unemployment increasing from 8% of the labour force to a peak of 26% in 2013.
The budget balance which was in surplus in 2007 was transformed into a deficit of 11% of GDP in 2009 by the recession and the measures taken to counter it. It was progressively reduced to 5% of GDP in 2015 by a succession of fiscal consolidation packages which included a substantial reduction in public investment.
Over the period, all regions experienced a marked contraction in GDP per head. However, this was larger in Convergence and Transition regions than in Competitiveness ones, which found it easier to deal with the crisis partly due to the structure of their economies and more advanced level of technological development.
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