Spanish industrial output falls sharply

Spanish industrial output falls sharply

MADRID - Agence France-Presse
Spanish industrial output falls sharply

An operator works on the batteries of a Renault electric car in Valladolid, Spain. AFP photo

Spanish industrial output contracted at a faster pace in March, official data showed yesterday, as the unemployment-scarred country returned to recession.

Production by Spain’s factories and power generators slumped 7.5 percent in March from a year earlier after smoothing out the impact of seasonal factors, the National Statistics Institute said in a report.
That followed a decline in industrial output of 5.3 percent in February and a drop of 4.4 percent in January.

Spain toppled back into recession during the first quarter as the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy struggled with the after-effects of the collapse of a labor-intensive property bubble in 2008.

The country’s gross domestic product shrank by 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2012, equalling the slump in the final quarter of 2011, the statistics institute said last week.

A recession is widely defined as two successive quarters of GDP contraction. Spain’s jobless rate soared to a record 24.4 percent in the first quarter, up sharply from 22.85 percent in the last three months of 2011.