SPANIARDS have overtaken the Italians and become richer according to new data from the International Monetary Fund.
The country’s per capita gross domestic product (€31,087) exceeded that of Italy (€30,994) in 2017, according to IMF data.
Spain is now one of the fastest growing countries among leading EU economies.
According to IMF forecasts, in 2018 Spain will overtake New Zealand on a list currently headed by Qatar, Macau and Luxembourg.
But while Spain has been expanding at a faster rate than France, Germany and the UK since 2015, its economy is only two per cent larger than at the start of 2008 — a weaker recovery than in all other leading EU economies except Italy.
Román Escolano, Spain’s economy minister, told the Financial Times, “The latest results of the Spanish economy are good and encouraging, the latest forecasts from institutions like the IMF as well, but there is still a lot to do. There are still a lot of jobs to create, and we are working on it.”
At the end of the 1990s, Italy — which now has a population of almost 15million more people than Spain — had an economy twice as large as that of Spain. It is now only 50 per cent larger and the difference is expected to shrink even further in the next five years.