Forecasts from the Catalan treasury in northeast Spain show a predicted 2.9 per cent growth by the end of 2018, higher than both overall Spanish GDP growth and for the Eurozone in general.

The figures are an upwards revision of predictions for the year released in 2017, when the Catalan economy expected to rise by 2.6 per cent during 2018. A further healthy increase of 2.5 per cent is forecast for 2019.

This strong performance builds on three years of robust growth in the region, with 2017 GDP figures up 3.4 per cent on top of 3-plus per centage growth for 2015 and 2016. External demand for Catalan goods and services remains high, accounting for around 20 per cent of the growth figures, according to the regional authorities.

New business start-ups and inward investment have contributed to plummeting unemployment figures. Catalonia’s jobless rate is scheduled to hit 9.7 per cent in 2019, falling below 10 per cent for the first time in 11 years. “The Catalan economy has had three exceptional years of growth,” reported Catalan News, predicting that the overall size of the economy will exceed €250 billion during 2019.