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Spain - Country Profile

The Spanish economy boomed from 1986 to 1990, averaging five percent annual growth. After a European-wide recession in the early 1990s, the Spanish economy resumed moderate growth starting in 1994. Spain's mixed capitalist economy supports a GDP that on a per capita basis is 80% that of the four leading West European economies. The center-right government of former President AZNAR successfully worked to gain admission to the first group of countries launching the European single currency (the euro) on 1 January 1999. The AZNAR administration continued to advocate liberalization, privatization, and deregulation of the economy and introduced some tax reforms to that end. Unemployment fell steadily under the AZNAR administration but remains high at 10.4%. Growth of 2.5% in 2003 and 2.6% in 2004 was satisfactory given the background of a faltering European economy. The socialist president, RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO, has initiated economic and social reforms that are generally popular among the masses of people but that are anathema to religious and other conservative elements. Adjusting to the monetary and other economic policies of an integrated Europe, reducing unemployment, and absorbing widespread social changes will pose challenges to Spain over the next few years.

Economic Statistics
Exports : $172.5 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Commodities :
machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, medicines, other consumer goods
France 19.3%, Germany 11.7%, Portugal 9.6%, UK 9%, Italy 9%, US 4% (2004)
Imports $222 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Commodities :
machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, semifinished goods; foodstuffs, consumer goods; measuring and medical control instruments
Partners :
Germany 16.6%, France 15.8%, Italy 8.9%, UK 6.3%, Netherlands 4.8% (2004)