With a debt of around 110% of GDP and in a context of rising interest rates, it warns that Spain is in a “vulnerable position”

The president of the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility (AIReF), Cristina Herrero, foresees a slowdown in economic growth in Spain in the second half of the year “with greater intensity and anticipation” than expected and projects a loss of dynamism in the job.

“The available indicators and data point to a slowdown in economic growth for the second half of the year that is accompanied, in addition to a certain loss of dynamism in regards to the labor market,” Herrero stated during his speech in ‘Nueva Economía Forum’.

As pointed out by the president of AIReF, the elements that support this slowdown in economic growth in Spain were already anticipated before the summer and now they have not only been confirmed, but the rise in the price of oil has also been added.

“The economic slowdown that we anticipated before the summer now seems to be occurring with greater intensity and with greater anticipation,” explained the president of the independent organization.

In its latest forecasts, AIReF anticipated economic growth in 2023 of 2.3% in real terms and estimated an increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 1.9% for 2024.

Among the factors that affect the economy in this second part of the year, Herrero has pointed out the persistence of underlying inflation, the rebound in gas and oil prices, the deterioration of international trade and the translation of the tightening of monetary conditions to the real economy.

As the president of AIReF recalled, a few days ago the European Central Bank raised interest rates again and this, added to a debt ratio in Spain of around 110% of GDP, places the country “in a position certainly vulnerable.”


AIReF’s deficit forecasts for 2023 are 4.1% and they anticipate that the 3% objective could be reached for next year, although this will be subject to two fundamental factors, according to Herrero.

One of them is the withdrawal of the measures adopted by the central government and that are in force to face the energy crisis and the price crisis, which represent an impact of 1.1% of GDP in 2023. The other linked factor To achieve this 3% objective is for territorial administrations to moderate the growth of their spending.

Under these two premises, Herrero sees the opening of an excessive deficit procedure by the European Union (EU) as “unlikely”, given that Spain would manage to lower itself to the 3% limit.


Herrero has acknowledged that there is “great uncertainty” regarding the formation of the nation’s Government and has admitted “concern”, since in 2024 Spain faces the fact that there will no longer be suspension of fiscal rules and, therefore, if the new framework of rules is in force, the previous one will be in force.

In addition, he recalled that the Commission made a specific recommendation for Spain and that is that the growth of primary spending net of income measures in 2024 must be subject to a rate of 2.6%.


Regarding fiscal rules, Herrero considers that the previous framework that did not take into account the specificities of each country “has proven ineffective” and believes that there is a “great consensus” for reform of the European fiscal framework in this regard.

But, nevertheless, he has insisted that the credibility of the European fiscal framework must be guaranteed, since until now it has generated a certain “disaffection.” “They must be made credible and to do so they have to be feasible,” he reiterated.

“The new framework of European fiscal rules requires medium-term planning and strategic plans that will of course require consensus on the part of all public administrations,” he emphasized.