MADRID (AP) — The Bank of Spain says the country*s economy contracted the second quarter — but by a smaller amount compared to the previous three months, mainly thanks to strong exports.
The estimate figure released Tuesday of a 0.1 percent contraction in the second quarter was a slight improvement on the first three months of 2013, when the economy shrank by 0.5 percent. If confirmed by the National Statistics Institute on July 30, it would be Spain's eight consecutive quarterly contraction.
The bank has predicted the economy could start growing again in the third quarter. Spain has been in recession for four years following the collapse of its real estate sector in 2008. Despite 27.2 percent unemployment and a bloated deficit, the government claims its reforms and austerity measures are paying off.