Iago Negueruela, confident of a return to 2019 figures. | Archive

Balearic minister for the economic model, tourism and employment, Iago Negueruela, predicted on Thursday that the Balearics will be one of the first of Spain's regions to emerge from the crisis, with figures by the end of next year like those of 2019, which was a record year.

At a press conference, the minister said that the Balearic economy is advancing "at a faster rate than had been expected". The government has therefore raised its growth forecasts to 11.6% for 2021, compared with the previous 11.1%, and 12.1% next year. In the second quarter of 2021, there was 21.7% growth - in Mallorca specifically this was 21.5%.

Negueruela stated that "next year's tourism season will start earlier than this year", with good prospects for March and April. This will prove to be an added bonus for growth.

As well as forecasts for 2021 and 2022, the ministry has reviewed the fall in GDP last year. The original was for a fall of 27%. This was revised to 23% and has now been brought down to 20.6%. Negueruela attributed this lower than expected fall to "the strength and scope of the social shield" from the ERTE furlough scheme and the special benefits for employees with 'fijo discontinuo' contracts as well as better performance over the final months of the year than had been foreseen.