Spanish economy shrinks

August 29th, 2012 - 11:23 am ICT by IANS  

Madrid, Aug 29 (IANS/EFE) The Spanish economy shrank 0.4 percent in the second quarter after a contraction of 0.3 percent in the first three months of the year, the National Statistics Institute, or INE, said.

Spain’s gross domestic product was down 1.3 percent compared with the second quarter of 2011.

The INE attributed the worsening GDP numbers to an acceleration in the decline of domestic demand, while citing continued strength in exports as one of the few positive factors.

Consumer spending dropped 2.2 percent in the second quarter compared with the same period in 2011 as median pay fell by 3.9 percent on an annual basis.

Employment, measured in terms of positions equivalent to full-time work, plunged 4.6 percent over the 12 months that ended June 30, representing the loss of more than 800,000 jobs.

Spain’s current jobless rate is 24.6 percent, while more than half of workers 25 and under are without formal employment.

The INE report also said Spanish GDP turned negative in the third quarter of 2011 and not the fourth, as originally estimated. The government expects GDP to contract 1.7 percent this year.

The Spanish economy has been battered by the global recession and the collapse of a massive real-estate bubble, which has left many banks saddled with toxic property assets.


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