Until 2008 the economy of Spain had been regarded as one of the
most dynamic within the EU, attracting significant amounts of
foreign investment. During the last four decades the Spanish
tourism industry has grown to become the second biggest in the
world, worth approximately 40 billion Euros, about 5% of GDP, in
2006. Spain's economy had been credited with having avoided the
virtual zero growth rate of some of its largest partners in the EU.
In fact, the country's economy had created more than half of all
the new jobs in the European Union over the five years ending 2005,
a process that is rapidly being reversed. More recently, the
Spanish economy had benefited greatly from the global real estate
boom, with construction representing an astonishing 16% of GDP and
12% of employment in its final year. According to calculations by
the German newspaper Die Welt, Spain had been on course to overtake
countries like Germany in per capita income by 2011.
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