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Spain shrugs off economic impact of Catalan crisis

Spain shrugs off economic impact of Catalan crisis
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Spain's economy minister has dismissed the prospect of any adverse economic fallout from the crisis in Catalonia, sticking to the government's end-of-year growth forecast of 3.1 percent from a year earlier.

"October has not been a good month, but we see a certain normalisation in November."

Luis de Guindos Spanish economy minister

"In the fourth quarter, without doubt, Catalonia saw an strong deceleration ... October has not been a good month, but we see a certain normalisation in November," Luis de Guindos said on Thursday on the sidelines of a conference in Madrid.

Spain's economy grew 0.8 percent between the second and third quarters for a year-on-year rate of 3.1 percent.

Catalonia is worth around a fifth of Spain's economy, and handles a quarter of the country's total exports.

It held an illegal vote on independence on Oct. 1, leading to a month-long standoff with the Madrid government which ended with Madrid stripping the region of its autonomy on Oct. 27 and calling a local election for Dec. 21.

The government had cut its 2018 growth forecast to 2.3 percent from a previous 2.8 percent due to the Catalan crisis

While most major holiday destinations in Spain saw a jump in visits in October from a year earlier, the Catalonia region saw a 4.7 percent decline.

Spanish retail sales in October were down for the first time in over three years, with sales in Catalonia dropping sharply

In October, almost 3,000 companies moved their legal headquarters out of Catalonia.