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Portugal & Spain

Demand for most grades has yet to pick up after the holiday period and remains low across Europe, including in Portugal and Spain. Owing to material shortages, however, there are higher prices for secondary aluminium scrap as well as stainless steel.

Portugal’s tourism sector recorded substantial growth in 2023, showing a 20% surplus over the previous year and with revenues of more than Euro 25 billion contributing at least 15% to the country’s GDP. Further growth is anticipated in 2024.

According to latest forecasts, Portugal’s GDP is expected to climb 1.3% in 2024 and 2.3% in 2025, which is above the Eurozone average. Government debt is dropping slowly and is predicted to go below 100% this year and to fall as low as 97% in 2025. It has been announced that legislative elections will take place on March 10 this year after Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa dissolved the nation’s parliament, but this is unlikely to influence the ongoing trend towards public debt reduction.

After an outstanding 2.4% hike in GDP last year, growth in the Spanish economy is projected to slow slightly to 1.7% in 2024. However, a better performance is anticipated for 2025, leading to 2% economic growth. The unemployment rate is expected to continue its decline to as low as 11.1% in 2024.

Although the inflation rate continues to fall, the Spanish government has introduced new measures to help people cope with increasing living costs. For example, pensions are to be raised by 3.8% and VAT on essential products will be reduced. However, the economy could face more challenges as, on top of existing inflation, the crisis in the Red Sea could push prices higher.