Spain Economy Up Despite Catalan Crisis

MADRID (AP) -- Spain's central bank says strong exports are likely to help the economy grow by a quarterly rate of 0.8 percent in the last three months of the year despite the negative effects of the Catalan political crisis.

Spain's economy is set to expand by 3.1 percent in 2017, but the government revised its estimate for 2018 from 2.6 percent to 2.3 percent because of uncertainty created by the since-ousted Catalan regional government's push for independence in October.

The central bank said Wednesday buoyant exports overall made up for the economic fallout in prosperous Catalonia.

Its figures are estimates and official data will be published by the National Statistics Institute next month.

Spain emerged from recession in late 2013 and is now one of the European Union's fastest-growing economies.