The political leadership of Madrid is significant for Spanish and European politics. Madrid is the third largest city in Europe after London and Paris, comprises 10% of the Spanish GDP and has the third largest metro GDP in the EU.
Output growth in Madrid increased by 3.5% p.a. over the past 20 years compared to 2.2% for the whole of Spain.
Income per head is 30% higher than the national average and the city’s workers are more productive. In terms of output growth, Madrid, has systematically outperformed the national average since 2009.
The tertiary sector – related to retail and other services – and the hotel sector have grown fasterthan the average regional GDP since early 2013, given past initiatives of the former local public authorities.
In 2013 the Community of Madrid promoted the Retail Tourism movement to develop new sources of income. The initiative was intended to promote the city as a pure shopping destination and position it as a benchmark in prominent tourist markets, especially in Asia.
The campaign has sparked significant growth in Madrid’s service sector with the number of tourists increasing by 22% since 2013. The average number of nights increased by 25%, which means that the average length of stay also rose. Tourists spent a total of €1.2 billion in 2013 and an estimated €1.35 billion in 2014. Madrid is now the ninth most visited city in Europe, attracting more than 5.2 million foreigners with the highest annual rate of growth in tourists.
In Q1 2015, Madrid employment rose by 4.6%, the highest figure recorded across all Spanish region. Employment in Madrid is now 8% higher than at its recent cyclical low.