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Spanish recovery accelerates, finance minister warns of 'obstacles ahead'


Spanish recovery accelerates, finance minister warns of 'obstacles ahead'


Spain’s economy grew for a second straight quarter in the final three months of last year, amid signs of a recovery in domestic demand and as exports increased.

GDP was up 0.3 percent from the previous quarter, according to the National Statistics Institute.

Compared with the same period a year earlier the economy shrank by 0.1 percent, a big improvement on the 1.1 percent contraction of the previous quarter.

Economy Minister Luis de Guindos welcomed what he called “positive elements” but stressed there is still much to do.

In an radio interview on Thursday he said: “The path ahead is full of obstacles which, above all, includes an unemployment rate of 26 percent.”

Stronger-than-expected economic data in the second half of last year prompted economists to raise their growth forecasts for 2014, with Guindos saying earlier this week he expected growth of around 1.0 percent this year, up from the official 0.7 percent target.

In 2013, the economy contracted by 1.2 percent from a year earlier after shrinking 1.6 percent in 2012, INE reported.

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