The independence crisis in Catalonia has only made a very limited impact on the Spanish economy, EU economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici said Thursday.
The blowout from the separatist push by Catalonia has worried economists, with hundreds of businesses relocating their headquarters outside the wealthy northeastern region as the political standoff with Madrid deepens.
‘Our central scenario does not include any major potential economic impact from the events in Catalonia, and I observe that, so far, market reaction to these events has been relatively limited,’ Moscovici said at a press conference in Brussels as the bloc unveiled its seasonal forecast.
In its latest outlook, the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, boosted its growth forecast for Spain in 2017 and 2018 to 3.1 percent and 2.5 percent respectively.
Back in May, the EU had been expecting a slower 2.8 percent in 2017 and 2.4 percent in 2018.
But in a sign that trouble could still be coming, the EU said in 2019 it expected a further slowdown to 2.1 percent in its first forecast for that year.
‘While market reactions to recent events in Catalonia have remained contained, the risk exists that future developments could have an impact on economic growth,’ the commission forecast said.
Earlier this week, the Spanish Minister of the Economy, Luis de Guindos, predicted a slowdown to 2.3 percent in 2018 because of problems out of Catalonia.
He said that his forecast was ‘conservative’, quantifying the impact of the crisis at between 0.4 and 0.5 percentage points of growth.