The outbreak of the pandemic and the need to control the transmission of the virus caused the largest economic recession in democratic times. An effect that has been uneven not only in sectoral and territorial terms, but also in social terms: I am thinking especially of the younger population, which has experienced two deep economic crises in just a decade. Offering this generation the future it deserves is the best reason not to settle with returning to the starting point.
After the containment and stabilization phases, our economy is experiencing a strong recovery momentum. This is confirmed by all the high-frequency indicators. After a first quarter of contraction, GDP grew 1.1% during the second quarter, and 2.0% in the third. The most recent AIReF estimates suggest that growth in the fourth quarter could reach 1.7%While, according to the latest forecasts by the European Commission, Spain will be the third economy in the EU to grow the most next year: 5.5%. Employment is showing unprecedented positive behavior, and has already recovered, in absolute terms, not only the pre-pandemic membership figures but also the levels prior to the 2008 financial crisis.
Confidence indicators for industry, construction or consumption are above their historical averages and the economic sentiment indicator for October prepared by the European Commission reaches the highest level since 2001. This indicates that certain conjunctural slowdown factors, such as bottlenecks in international value chains and the increase in energy costs, are they will gradually dilute next year. To this they will also contribute the good performance of employment, the normalization of the tourism sector and investment relaunched by European funds.
Reaching this hopeful point has been possible thanks to two fundamental actions. First, the deployment of an economic policy focused on avoiding permanent damage in our human and productive capital. Measures such as ERT Es, ICO guarantees or the social shield They are unmatched in the history of our country and there is already widespread recognition of their justice and effectiveness. And in second place, a vaccination campaign that has made us a world example. Today, more than 89% of the Spanish population over 12 years of age already has the complete guideline. And, according to Bloomberg, our country is second in the world that has shown the greatest resilience to COVID-19.
It is, then, the moment to act in the medium and long term. Investments and reforms that are part of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan they will serve as the basis for a just recovery that propels us into the future. The way we have managed this crisis at both national and European levels has been radically different from what we experienced during the international financial crisis. Now, with the Recovery Plan, we will achieve launch a set of investments and reforms that will transform our economy, mitigating the generational, gender and territorial gaps that had accelerated in the last decade. It will be, without a doubt, the best way to guarantee that future of progress and well-being that we all want for Spain.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.