New official figures show Spain’s economy suffered its worst contraction in half a century in the first quarter of this year.
That reinforces analysts expectations of a deeper slowdown in the wider euro zone economy. With the decade long building boom now bust, Spain’s gross domestic product shrank 1.8 percent from the previous quarter. Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has just unveiled details of 70 billion euros in spending and banking sector aid to cushion the downturn. Rocketing unemployment is one symptom of the recession which the European Commission believes is likely to continue in Spain until 2011.