Sunday, May 26, 2013

Two things missing on Spain's route to recovery

Spanish officials tell a dramatic turnaround story: from near-bankruptcy a year ago to model of budget austerity and reform now.
There are just two things missing: jobs and growth. And only one potential salvation: exports.

Ministers reel off a litany of statistics to show how much has been achieved: the budget deficit has been cut from 11.2 percent of GDP in 2009 to 6.98 percent last year. Some 375,000 public sector jobs have gone, labor costs are down to 2005 levels and competitiveness has improved.

Senior executives boast of how they have trimmed the bloated debts of their multinational conglomerates, hastily bolted together with abundant cheap money during the boom years.