Madrid, March 21 (IANS/EFE) Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Wednesday that his government will almost certainly revise its economic outlook for 2013.
He made the remarks in parliament to the leader of the main opposition Socialists, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, who inquired whether the government was maintaining the economic forecasts it sent to Brussels in April 2012.
“We’re studying all the available information, talking with the (European) Commission, and if it’s necessary we’ll proceed with a correction, a change to those forecasts, just as the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission have done,” Rajoy said.
He then added more categorically: “In fact, I believe we’re going to change the forecasts.”
Rajoy recalled that Spain must present its stability program – or economic projections for 2013 – to the European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, by the end of April.
Hinting that the forecast would be revised downward, the premier said the outlook must reflect the reality of the recession-hit Iberian nation and that of the whole of the European and global economy.
Economy Minister Luis de Guindos, meanwhile, told reporters Wednesday that the government’s new macroeconomic forecasts for 2013 will be “very conservative” so the path to fiscal consolidation is “very credible”.
Rajoy told parliament that his government had largely met its economic targets for 2012, noting that gross domestic product declined by 1.4 percent compared with a projected 1.5 percent drop, while the budget deficit was lowered to 6.7 percent of GDP compared with a target of 6.3 percent of GDP.
Unemployment in Spain topped 26 percent at the end of 2012, compared with a government forecast of 24.6 percent, and the jobless rate among people under 25 stood at 55.1 percent.
The Iberian nation is in recession for the second time since the 2008 global financial crisis followed hard on the heels of the collapse of a decade-long property boom.