Spaniards in the dumps about slump

30th May 2008, Comments 0 comments

Recent poll shows unemployment and economy are the biggest concerns of many of Spain citizens.

30 May 2008

MADRID - Spaniards' confidence in the economy has plunged since the start of 2008 as rocketing food and fuel prices, rising unemployment and a slump in property values have combined to crush optimism across the country, a new opinion poll shows.

Unemployment and the economy were cited as the biggest issues affecting the country by an unprecedented number of people in April, according a monthly survey of consumer attitudes by the Sociological Research Institute (CIS).

For 46.1 percent of respondents the current economic situation is "bad" or "very bad" - a nine-point increase from the March survey. More than half said the situation has worsened over the last 12 months, while 44.5 percent expect it to worsen further over the coming year. Just 10 percent think the economy will be better.

In December, the number of people describing the economic situation as negative stood at 36 percent.

Unemployment was cited as the biggest concern by 52 percent of respondents, its highest level in two years, reflecting a recent upsurge in layoffs, particularly from the rapidly slowing construction and real estate sectors. Recent inflation and housing data is likely to further dampen sentiments in the CIS's May poll.

[El Pais / A. Eatwell / Expatica]

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