Spanish economy crawls out of recession
The Spanish economy has finally emerged from recession after experiencing growth of just 0.1% in the first quarter of 2010, ending a run of seven consecutive quarters of contraction.
A report from the country’s central bank said: “The information available indicates a return to weak growth in the first quarter in an environment characterised by a progressive recovery in the global economy.”
However, there will undoubtedly be fears over the recovery since the latest figures show unemployment tipped over the 20% mark – one of the highest rates of unemployment within the 16-member euro zone.
Spain’s jobless rate is double the 10% for the euro zone as a whole with the total number of jobless in the country at 4.61 million.
The economy has been hit by a severe slump within its key construction industry, which has led to a significant amount of job losses.
Last week, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgraded Spain’s credit rating by one notch to AA from AA+ over fears for the country’s economic outlook.
The Spanish economy, which is the euro zone’s fourth largest, contracted by 3.6% in 2009.