The busy main shopping street, Calle Larios ::SUR
Increased activity in the services sector will help the economy to grow and create employment in the second half of the year, according to Analistas Económicos
The doubts have been left behind. Economists appear to agree that 2014 is the year of recovery and Malaga is leading the way towards growth in Andalucía, according to the latest quarterly report from Analistas Económicos de Andalucía (AEA), which forecasts a 1.4 per cent increase in the GDP of the province, the highest in the region together with that of Granada. Growth in Huelva, Jaén and Cadiz will be similar to the regional average (1.1%), while that of Almeria, Seville and Cordoba will be below 1%. In the final quarter of 2013, Malaga managed to break the recession with a growth of 0.3%, compared with a reduction of 0.2% at a regional level.
The increase in activity that AEA forecasts for this year will allow employment to be created in the second half of the year, although not by a large amount, according to Unicaja’s survey department, which only predicts an increase of 0.1% in the number of those with jobs and a 2% rise in unemployment. However, a forecast by the College of Economists of Malaga a month ago was more optimistic, announcing that the province would end this year with 50,000 more jobs. The AEA report did cite as a positive precedent the year-on-year growth in employment registered in the final quarter in the provinces of Malaga, Huelva, Granada and Jaén.
What will be the main components of the economy this year? One is hardly surprising: tourism, which already showed “a very positive evolution” in 2013 in terms of numbers of visitors and overnight stays. The services sector, which benefits directly from tourism, will grow by an average of 1.1% in the region this year, and possibly even more in Malaga. Industry will grow by 3%, while construction and agriculture will not contribute anything positive to GDP.
The real surprise is the predicted rise in household consumption, which after continuous falls since 2010 until a turnaround in the last quarter of 2013, is expected to increase by 0.8%, the highest rise since the crisis began in 2008. In Malaga, experts say they have also detected indications of particularly positive internal demand, such as the sales of vehicles and even properties.