Spain’s economy remains weak, but it is growing and it expanded by 0.3 percent in the first three months of this year from the previous quarter, though consumer spending slackened compared with the end of last year.
The construction sector is still struggling after the property bubble burst and it shrank by 10.2 percent in the first quarter.
But the economy minister, Jose Manuel Campa, remained upbeat: “First quarter GDP is growing in a time when our economy is undergoing a remarkable adjustment in some sectors – particularly construction. At the same time there’s a significant fiscal consolidation effort.”
With the unemployment rate at 21 percent of the workforce and government austerity measures depressing domestic demand, Spain is relying on strong exports which in the first quarter were up 11.2 percent on the same period last year.