Spain: economy in recession, unemployment at 24%

Outlooks by international bodies confirmed

23 April, 13:27

An unemployment office in Madrid An unemployment office in Madrid

(ANSAmed) - MADRID - The Spanish economy is once again technically in a recession, after a first quarter with a drop in GDP of 0.4%, in addition to that of 0.3% in the last quarter of 2011. The data released today by the Bank of Spain, before those published by the national statistics institute, confirm the outlooks by international bodies, which predicted that the recession would grow worse before the end of the summer. In the same period, unemployment affected almost 24% of the active population. On an annual basis, GDP dropped in the first quarter by 0.5%. This is the second recession seen in the Spanish economy in about 3 years, although the previous one in 2009 was much worse, at -3.7%. According to the bulletin published by Spain's central bank, the drop in GDP was caused by the latest 0.4% drop in domestic demand and a lesser contribution from the foreign sector - which saw an increase but a lesser one than the previous quarter. In the first quarter, employment was down by 4%, adding to the 3.3% drop seen in the last quarter of 2011.

The central bank said that the backdrop (with 290,000 new jobless between January and March), was ''compatible'' with an unemployment rate of around 24% in the first quarter of 2012.



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