January 30, 2018 / 11:15 AM / in a year

Spain to grow 3 percent in 2018 if Catalan situation resolved - economy minister

Spain's Finance Minister Luis de Guindos talks to journalists after a European Union finance ministers' meeting in Luxembourg, October 10, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain will grow around 3 percent this year if the current political crisis triggered by the Catalonia region’s independence push is resolved, Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said on Tuesday.

The official forecast for 2018 stands at 2.3 percent, after 3.1 percent growth in 2017, but that was set at the height of the political standoff over Catalonia, which hit regional tourism and has prompted thousands of companies to relocate.

De Guindos said he expected growth in the first quarter to be similar to the fourth quarter of 2017, when output expanded 0.7 percent from the previous three months.

Reporting by Rodrigo de Miguel; Editing by Angus Berwick

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