Madrid (AFP) – Spain escaped from its two-year recession in the third quarter of this year with timid growth as job destruction eased, the country’s central bank said on Wednesday.
After nine straight quarters of contraction in the second trough of a double-dip recession, the eurozone’s fourth-biggest economy grew by 0.1 percent, the Bank of Spain said in a report.
The rate at which jobs were being destroyed in the recession, which has thrown millions out of work and increased poverty, eased to its slowest rate since the start of the crisis in 2008, it added.
“In the third quarter, the Spanish economy extended the gradual improvement that it has been observing since the start of the year,” the bank wrote.
Wednesday’s data came in an economic climate “characterized by a certain easing of financial tensions and improving confidence”.
The bank’s quarterly estimates are usually confirmed by the government’s official figures, due later this month.
The rate of destruction of jobs was 0.1 percent, which if confirmed would be “the least unfavorable rate since the start of the crisis” that erupted in 2008 with the collapse of a building boom, the bank said.
The jobless rate was a huge 26.3 percent in the second quarter, according to the latest definitive figure.
Separately the economy ministry said that Spain slashed its trade deficit in August by 42.5 percent to 1.8 million euros ($2.5 million).
The government has been trumpeting exports as one of the motors to drive the country out of its slump.
Exports rose by 3.8 percent compared to August last year to 17.2 billion euros while imports decreased by 3.6 percent.
“As the slide in domestic demand peters out, the ongoing surge in exports will drive growth” in Spain, wrote analyst Holger Schmieding of Berenberg bank.