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Spain on road to economic recovery amid rise in emigration Spain’s manufacturing sector ahead of Germany, France and Italy and its economy is outperforming the eurozone

Spains economic recovery was underlined as its manufacturing sector recorded its greatest activity in seven years, but the financial crisis has left its mark with separate figures showing a sharp rise in people leaving the country.

A snapshot of the state of Spanish factories combining output, orders and employment showed activity rose to a seven-year high in June. The Markit PMI increased to 54.6 from 52.9 in July – with a reading above 50 indicating expansion.

That puts growth in Spain’s manufacturing sector ahead of Germany, France and Italy and is further evidence that its economy is outperforming the eurozone as whole. In particular, t

The struggling Spanish car industry in particular is showing signs of recovery thanks in part to a government incentive scheme, now in its sixth year, for people to upgrade their vehicles.

Christian Schulz, senior economist at Berenberg bank, said Spain was benefiting from the reforms that it put in place in response to the financial crisis. “If we add similarly impressive readings for the Spanish services sector, we can safely conclude that Spain is reaping the rewards of its tough labour market reforms of 2012 and is becoming a mainstay of eurozone growth,” he said.

When the eurozone crisis hit Spain was one of the most affected countries, with a burst property bubble prompting fears of a banking sector collapse. Unemployment soared, and remains high at 25%.

A separate report from the country’s National Statistics Institute shows Spain is still paying the price as hundreds of thousands abandon the beleaguered economy. Also the birth rate remains below replacement levels.

In 2013, 547,980 people left the country, the majority of them immigrants but also 79,306 Spanish nationals. The figure is an 80% increase on that of 2012.

The majority of those migrating are young people. Over the past year the proportion of the Spanish population aged 15-39 has shrunk by 3.1%, or 477,851 individuals. As immigrants leave, they take their children with them, resulting in a 4.2% (102,358) drop in the under-fives.

This, combined with one of the EU’s lowest birth rates (1.48 babies per woman of childbearing age) and an average life expectancy of 81.37 years, gives Spain a demographic problem. This was mitigated by the arrival since 2000 of about five million mostly young immigrants, who also tended to have higher birth rates. But many of these are now leaving.

But young Spaniard nationals are also going, 38.5% more than in 2012.

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