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Spain pulls out of recession with marginal growth

Oct. 23, 2013 at 11:56 AM   |   Comments

MADRID, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- The Bank of Spain said a two-year recession ended in the third quarter by the slightest of margins with a 0.1 percent economic gain from the second quarter.

"One by one, the euro crisis countries are returning to growth after a savage adjustment recession," Berenberg Bank Chief Economist Holger Schmieding told The New York Times.

"As the slide in domestic demand peters out, the ongoing surge in exports will drive growth," Schmieding said, declaring, "The worst is over."

The euro crisis hit hardest in Spain, Greece, Portugal and Ireland, each of which has had to seek international bailouts. At the third quarter, however, Spain joins the other three in showing signs of economic growth returning this year, Schmieding said.

Spain's government has predicted the country's gross domestic product would shrink by 1.3 percent this year and grow 0.7 percent in 2014, the Times reported.

Among the signs of recovery, interest rates in Spain have been falling and the stock market has rallied, reaching a level not seen since July 2011.

Some foreign investment has returned. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates announced recently he had invested $156.3 million in Spanish construction company FCC, the Times said.

Economics professor Javier Diaz-Gimenez at the IESE business school said the recovery was shaky.

"I still see an economy that is very vulnerable to any perturbation, whether internal or external," Diaz-Gimenez said at a recent press event.

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