Spain’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has more than doubled since the 1980’s and is now within the top 10 countries with the largest economies in the World. Even still, unemployment remains high at around 15% and the cost of living in Spain has increased in recent years with personal debt rising considerably.
Spain is now a member of what a lot of people refer to as the “real world” with regards to taxes in Spain and the cost of living in Spain and the country is no longer the low tax Spain it once was. The living costs in Spain do however still remain lower than most other EU member states and for many the ratio of the cost of living and quality of life in Spain is unbeatable.
Family debt in Spain has reached an all time high and is becoming an ever increasing problem. The majority of debt is in the form of Spanish mortgages and the central Bank of Spain is concerned about the effects of interest rates on Spanish mortgages rising and the toll this could take on families in Spain. Spain does consist of extremes of wealth and poverty and there is a significant difference between the wealthy northern region and the poor southern and western areas of the country.
If you are planning to invest into property or a business in Spain with a currency other than euros, remember to consider present and future exchange rates. If you are planning to borrow money in Spain to start a business or purchase a property in Spain, be sure to give plenty of thought to what currency would suit you best. It is not easy to obtain a mortgage in Spain for foreign residents or to get a loan to begin a new business venture so it is advisable to plan carefully and list all possible expenses before actually moving to Spain.
If you do plan to come to Spain for a long period of time or permanently, make sure that you have enough cash, travellers cheques and/or credit cards to at least get you by until you find a job and settle which may well be some time after you have arrived in Spain. All major credit cards are widely accepted in Spain although not in the same way as what you may be familiar with in the UK, US and the majority of other EU member states. Spain is not considered a credit economy so to speak and the majority of Spanish people and businesses prefer to pay and be paid in cash instead of a credit card or cheque so be sure to check in advance.