Tourism at the heart of economic growth. | Enrique Calvo

BBVA Research is forecasting 8.3% economic growth for the Balearics this year, the second highest among Spain's regions, and six per cent in 2023, the highest.

The region's growth in 2021, according to the bank, was 10.5%. The trend will therefore be maintained this year, the Balearics behind only the Canaries (9.6%). As to employment, BBVA forecasts a 5.7% increase in 2022 and 5.5% in 2023.

Overall, the bank expects the country's regions to maintain their growth paths during 2022, with special positive impacts being for the regions most linked to tourism and from European recovery funds.

The report for the first quarter states that the recovery of foreign and urban tourism will be "a differential factor for the growth of the islands, Madrid and Catalonia, all of which will be in the leading group".

"The control of the pandemic, the return of foreign tourism, the arrival of European funds and the progressive elimination of production bottlenecks characterise the regional scenario. Tourism regions will grow the most, but those in the north will also achieve figures that are historically high.

"In 2023, the economy will gradually slow down with the return to normality, although the normalisation of urban tourism will continue to benefit Madrid over the next two years."

The BBVA forecast for 2022 is lower than that of the Balearic government, which has been looking at over ten per cent. Growth forecasts have been moderated somewhat because of the impact of Omicron (especially in the first quarter) and inflation.