Photo: Bank of Spain
Spain climbed out of recession in the third quarter, growing 0.1 percent from the previous three-month period to end a streak of nine consecutive quarters of contraction, the Bank of Spain estimated Wednesday in its latest economic bulletin.
Gross domestic product growth between July and September was the fruit of a more buoyant export sector, which contributed 0.4 percentage points to third-quarter growth, while a decline in domestic demand shaved off 0.3 points.
Spain’s GDP shrank by 1.2 percent compared to the third quarter of 2012, although the year-on-year decline was four-tenths of a percentage point lower than in the second quarter.
The decline in employment slowed significantly in the third quarter, falling by 0.1 percent compared to the April-June period, the Bank of Spain said, adding that, if confirmed, that “would represent the least unfavorable rate (of job loss) since the onset of the crisis.”
The jobless rate, however, still remains sky-high, coming in at more than 26 percent in the second quarter.
Although overall domestic demand continued to decline, the Bank of Spain estimated that household consumption began growing again in the third quarter, inching up 0.1 percent.
It said, however, that that indicator was still showing “marked weakness” due to a decline in disposable income, a drop in housing values and persistently high indebtedness.
Government spending fell more than in the previous quarter in keeping with a budget-correction process, although the Bank of Spain estimated that private-sector spending on capital goods grew between 1 percent and 2 percent in the third quarter.
The export sector benefited from improved competitiveness and better performance by the euro zone, the main destination of Spanish exports, the central bank said.