Spain: The last advanced economy to recover to pre-Covid levels, in 2026, according to the IMF

It will take us Spaniards six years to get back to where we were in 2019. After the last slowdown in growth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised its forecast for global GDP per capita. And the result is that, of the 24 countries that make up what the organization calls “advanced economies”, 23 will return to their pre-covid-19 standard of living before Spain.

Some, like the United States, the Netherlands, the Baltic republics and Slovenia, have already achieved this last year. Most of them will do so this year. France remains at the back of the pack for next year. And then, by 2025, there is the “broom wagon”: Canada and Spain. These two countries will have taken six years to return to their pre-pandemic income levels.

Even in this category, Spain is losing. The IMF estimates that Spain’s GDP per capita in 2025 will be 2.06% higher than in 2019. That of Canadians, with whom we are competing for last place, will be 3.72% higher. In other words: after a difficult “sprint”, Spain manages to be the advanced economy with the slowest post-pandemic recovery. Of the roughly 1.066 billion people living in what the IMF calls “advanced economies,” 1.019 billion are emerging from the pandemic-triggered crisis faster than Spaniards. The remaining 95.6% are ahead of us.

Even in the developing world, very few countries are recovering as slowly as Spain. In economies as different as Mexico or Mali, which are emerging very slowly from the crisis, citizens will return to their pre-pandemic standard of living sooner than Spain. That said, it is true that in emerging and developing countries, the value of national currencies varies greatly depending on the exchange rate, which complicates comparisons.