Spain’s economy contracts

Madrid, April 24 (IANS/EFE) The Spanish economy contracted 0.50 percent in the first quarter, the Bank of Spain said.

The rate of economic contraction eased in the period, compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, when the gross domestic product shrank 0.80 percent, the central bank said in its latest bulletin Tuesday.

The downturn in Spain’s economy is easing as European financial markets improve despite the uncertainty over the presidential election in Italy and complications in the Cyprus bailout, the Bank of Spain said.

Job losses also moderated during the period, with job cuts falling to a 4.5 percent year-on-year rate, down from the 4.7 percent rate registered in the prior quarter.

Spain has been battered by an economic meltdown that sent the unemployment rate skyrocketing to 26 percent.

–IANS/EFE

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