Spanish PM sees economic growth in second quarter
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero predicted Wednesday that the Spanish economy will likely grow during the second quarter after it edged out of recession in the first.
"The numbers show that, probably, we had growth again during the second quarter," he said during an annual state of the nation debate in parliament.
He based his prediction on indicators pointing to a rise in exports and industrial production, as well as an increase in the number of people who have signed up to the social security system, a sign that hiring by firms is up.
The Spanish economy, hit by the bursting of a property boom, entered recession at the end of 2008 and struggled until the first quarter of this year when it expanded just 0.1 percent from the previous quarter.
The government predicts Europe's fifth largest economy will grow 0.3 percent this year and 1.3 percent in 2011 after contracting by 3.6 percent in 2009.
The national statistics institute will publish its provisional data for second quarter gross domestic product growth on August 13.
Spain was the last major world economy to emerge from recession and concern over its weak growth prospects has fueled market worries that it may struggle to rein in a public deficit that shot up to 11.2 percent of GDP last year, the third highest level in the eurozone after Greece and Ireland.
© 2010 AFP