Spain posts positive revision of 2010 GDP figure

February 12th, 2011 - 1:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, Feb 12 (IANS/EFE) The Spanish economy shrank 0.1 percent in 2010, a better showing than the 0.3 percent contraction forecast by the government, said the National Statistics Institute, or INE.The INE’s figure coincides with the estimate issued last week by Spain’s central bank and marks a positive revision of the 0.2 percent contraction reported in late January by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s government.

Spanish gross domestic product grew 0.2 percent in the final three months of 2010 from the previous quarter and by 0.6 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2009, according to the INE, which attributed the result to gains in both exports and domestic demand.

The yearly GDP figure represents a median of the year-on-year variations for each quarter.

Though the economy grew relative to 2009 in the first, second and fourth quarters, flat GDP in the July-September period was enough to drag the overall number for 2010 into negative territory.

Consumption by Spanish households grew 1.2 percent last year, more than twice as much as expected, and exports climbed 1.3 percent, the central bank said in its report Friday.

For this year, the Banco de Espana expects “a prospect of slow recovery, very dependent on the external sector” and conditioned by government austerity measures and private-sector de-leveraging.

Spain’s unemployment rate has hovered around 20 percent for more than a year and the country’s No. 2 private bank, Grupo BBVA, says it expects joblessness to remain at that level until 2013.

–IANS/EFE
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