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Spain issues growth budget, no tax hikes, no cuts

Spain issues growth budget, no tax hikes, no cuts
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The Spanish economy looks to be crawling out of the swamp of recession as the government delivered a budget free from unpopular cuts to health and education and no tax rises.

The 2014 budget package is based on estimates that GDP will grow 0.7 percent up from the 0.5 percent predictions.

The financial plan marks a change from 2013, a budget packed with tax hikes and spending cuts.

Economic Minster Luis de Guindos expressed his hopes for a better 2014: “Europe’s developed countries saw a sharp decline in economic activity in 2009. Yet in 2010/11 they recovered. Spain saw a tiny 0.1 percent growth in 2011 and in 2012 we had another fall. Next year there will be the first real signs of increased economic activity.”

Any economic boost is welcome, but the country is still racked by high unemployment currently running at 26.3 percent with 55 percent of those under 25 out of work.

The government believes the total number of those without jobs will fall slightly next year, but not enough to boost tax revenue.

With retail sales still sluggish and inflation near zero the country is not yet out of the mire.