Catalonia’s construction and industrial sectors outperformed the market in the first quarter of 2018, continuing a pattern from 2017, the latest figures show. The Catalan economy expanded by 3.3 per cent in the year to May 2018, almost a percentage point above the Spanish average.

The construction sector in particular is growing “twice as fast as the rest of the economy,” stated a report from the Spanish Department of Economy and Finance. Public sector projects in the region have boosted the figures, while exports from Catalonia are rising rapidly.

The Catalan Institute of Finance (ICF) reports that it lent more to small businesses in 2017 than in the previous year, advancing 13 per cent more capital. “There is an increase in the supply of credit,” said Josep-Ramon Sanromà, CEO of the Institute. The ICF committed €22.4 million in venture capital funds to invest in newly-created Catalan businesses in 2017, a rise of 10 per cent on 2016. Many of these investments were in new economy digital start-ups such as Enertika, Wallapop and Whisbi, reported the Institute.