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Spanish jobless rate falls


Spanish jobless rate falls


Spain’s jobless rate fell slightly in April for the first time since last July.

But there are still 4.14 million people out of work in Spain which has the highest jobless rate in the euro zone – over 20 percent of the working population in the first quarter of this year.

Some economists were sceptical the April fall did actually mark the start of the downward trend the government is expecting.

Spain’s consumer confidence index also showed a slight rise in April.

However it remained well below the level that indicates optimism among consumers.

The figures followed an increase in retail sales in March.

They were up by 2.1 percent year-on-year, the first rise since November 2007.

Fitch Ratings has just reiterated its credit rating on Spain as ‘AAA’ with a stable outlook.

Last week another credit rating agency – Standard & Poor’s – cut its ratings on Spain’s sovereign debt to AA.

Standard & Poor’s said a longer-than-expected period of low growth could undermine efforts to cut the country’s budget deficit.

Spain is struggling to make its way out of recession but the government forecasts at least meagre growth in each quarter of the year.

Some economists have speculated that Spain’s poor economic prospects could eventually lead it to suffer Greek style financing problems, but on a much larger scale given that the Spanish economy is the euro zone’s fourth largest.

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