Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spain’s economy contracts 0.3% in third quarter of 2012

People wait in line at a government employment office at Santa Eugenia's Madrid suburb on January 27, 2012.

Source: Press TV

Official data show Spain’s economy has shrunk by 0.3% in the third quarter of the year, 2012, as the country continues to grapple with economic woes.

According to new data released by Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE) on Tuesday, country’s gross domestic product contracted by 0.3% from July to September.

This comes as one in four workers is unemployed in the recession-hit country.

On Friday, the Spanish institute also issued a statement saying that the country’s unemployment rate climbed to 25.02 percent in the third quarter, up from the previous 24.63 percent.

INE also pointed out that a total of 5.78 million people were out of work in the July-September quarter, up 85,000 from the previous three months, while the number of Spanish households in which every member is unemployed rose to 1.74 million.

On October 11, Standard and Poor’s rating agency (S&P) downgraded the country’s credit rating by two notches with a "negative outlook" citing “mounting risks to Spain's public finances, due to rising economic and political pressures.

The Spanish government has been sharply criticized over the austerity measures that are hitting the middle and working classes the hardest.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s proposed 2013 draft budget is expected to slash the overall spending by 40 billion euros ($51.7 billion), freeze the salaries of public workers, and reduce spending for unemployment benefits.

Battered by the global financial downturn, Spain’s economy collapsed into recession in the second half of 2008, taking with it millions of jobs.

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