Spain sticks to 'prudent' 2020 economic forecast, says Calvino

FILE PHOTO: Spain's Deputy Prime Minister and Economic Affairs Minister Nadia Calvino arrives to attend the first cabinet meeting at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, January 14, 2020. REUTERS/Susana Vera

MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish government is sticking to its previous “prudent” forecast of gradual recovery in the second half of 2020 after the severe impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the economy minister said on Wednesday.

Nadia Calvino said that despite recent signs of more favourable data in labour market figures, the government would not change its prediction of 9.2% contraction in 2020 announced at the beginning of May.

“Our forecasts are prudent and our actions are right (...) if the recovery continues in Europe without any significant setbacks, the recovery will gradually accelerate during the second half of the year and throughout 2021,” Calvino told parliament.

Calvino’s comments came before the International Monetary Fund published a forecast of an 12.8% economic slump for Spain this year due to the coronavirus.

The Bank of Spain’s governor said on Tuesday that the economy would begin recovering in the second half and, in a best-case scenario, could grow 16% in the third quarter versus the previous three months.

Reporting by Jesús Aguado and Emma Pinedo; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne