Spanish shrinkage continues

Spanish shrinkage continues

MADRID - Agence France-Presse
Spanish shrinkage continues

A worker carries soda on a cart in Sant Antoni de Portmany on Ibiza Island. Spain is facing large employment problems. AFP photo

Spain’s downturn deepened in the second quarter, with the economy shrinking 0.4 percent after contracting 0.3 percent in the first three months of 2012, official data showed yesterday.

The figures from the national statistics institute INE confirmed Bank of Spain data issued last week, compounding the problems the government faces in an economy expected not to return to growth until 2014.

INE said the second quarter outcome reflected “weaker domestic demand which was offset in part by a positive contribution from external demand.” Earlier this month, the government said the economy would continue in recession next year, shrinking 0.5 percent instead of growing 0.2 percent as previously expected.

The economy was tipped to shrink 1.5 percent this year, with unemployment hitting an unprecedented 24.6 percent, it said.

Spain, in a tailspin since a massive property bubble burst in 2008, was forecast to return to growth of 1.2 percent in 2014 and 1.9 percent in 2015.

The International Monetary Fund expects the Spanish economy to shrink 1.7 percent this year and 1.2 percent in 2013.