Spanish industry logs record decline

December 6th, 2008 - 1:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, Dec 6 (IANS) Spain’s industrial output plunged to a record 12.8 percent in October, EFE reported Saturday quoting official statistics.Data released by the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed that the decline was steepest in the intermediate goods sector, down 19.4 percent, followed by equipment goods production by 13.8 percent.

Production of consumer goods was down 8.3 percent, while energy production decreased by 1.9 percent.

In the manufacturing sector, the biggest drops were seen in the output of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers which registered a plunge of 29.2 percent. Production of other non-metallic minerals fell 24.9 percent.

The Spanish economy shrank 0.2 percent in the third quarter of this year compared to the previous quarter amid the global financial crisis and a collapse of the country’s construction sector.

It was the first time Spain’s economy had contracted consecutively in two quarters since 1993 and puts the Iberian nation on the brink of recession, defined as two or more consecutive quarters of negative growth.

The country’s third-quarter unemployment rate was 11.3 percent, the highest in the European Union.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s government has responded to the crisis by announcing plans to spend 11 billion euros ($14 billion) on various public works programmes with the aim of boosting employment and stimulating the economy.

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