Industrial activity is very important for the overall economy of Catalonia, particularly in the chemical, food, energy, metal and transport material sectors. Nevertheless, in recent years, special attention has been paid to logistics and the knowledge economy, an activity that is growing all over Europe. The commitment to new technologies and the audio-visual industry is already giving a distinct personality to the Catalan economy.
Geography has played a favourable role with regard to the economy. As Catalonia is located in the Peninsula, Mediterranean has made it a top rank strategic position as a port in the south of Europe, by road and rail transport, by sea, due to port that are constantly growing, and by air. The industrial activity has grown particularly in the Barcelona conurbation, but it has also developed in many industrial estates that have grown all over the country.
The GDP of Catalonia in 2014 was €199,797 million, the highest of Spain. In the last years there has been a negative net relocation rate of companies based in Catalonia moving to other autonomous communities of Spain. In 2014 Calalonia lost 987 companies to other parts of Spain (mainly Madrid), getting 602 new ones from the rest of the country.
In the context of the 2008 financial crisis, Catalonia was expected to suffer a recession amounting to almost a 2% contraction of its regional GDP in 2009. Catalonia’s debt in 2012 was the highest of all Spain’s autonomous communities,reaching €13,476 million, i.e. 38% of the total debt of the 17 autonomous communities, but in recent years its economy recovered a positive evolution and the GDP grew a 3.3% in 2015.
In 2011, Catalonia ranked the 64th largest country subdivision by GDP. Catalonia belongs to the organisation Four Motors for Europe.
The distribution of sectors is as follows:
•Primary sector: 3%. The amount of land devoted to agricultural use is 33%.
•Secondary sector: 37% (compared to Spain’s 29%)
•Tertiary sector: 60% (compared to Spain’s 67%)
Talking about economy we have to mention the tourism which has a great importance in the economy of the country. The main tourist destinations are the city of Barcelona, the beaches of the Costa Brava, Costa del Maresme and Costa del Garraf fromMalgrat de Mar to Vilanova i la Geltrú and the Costa Daurada in Tarragona. Near Lleida in the High Pyrenees there are several ski resorts. On 1 November 2012, Catalonia started charging a tourist tax.The revenue is used to promote tourism, and to maintain and upgrade tourism-related infrastructure.