Photo: Mariano Rajoy
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy expressed confidence that 2013 will be a better year and that the economic crisis can begin to be overcome in the near future.
Rajoy sounded that optimistic note Saturday at the close of a two-day meeting here of the ruling Popular Party.
Referring to this week’s news that Spain’s unemployment rate climbed to a record high of more than 25 percent in the third quarter, the premier said he is aware that many Spaniards are “having a rough time” but that the outlook for next year is better.
Citing various macroeconomic figures, including Spain’s current trade surplus with the remaining euro-zone countries, he said the Iberian nation will soon start to “overcome this crisis, which is one of the toughest” it has ever experienced.
The ranks of Spain’s unemployed climbed by 85,000 in the third quarter to more than 5.75 million, pushing the jobless rate to a record 25.02 percent, the National Statistics Institute, or INE, said Friday.
Construction, which was hammered by the collapse of a decade-long real estate boom, was the only sector not to see increases in unemployment over the 12 months ending Sept. 30, the INE said.
Spain has the highest jobless rate in the 27-member European Union.
The Iberian nation’s economy contracted 0.4 percent in the third quarter and continues to face strong headwinds, the central bank said earlier this week.
Median annual household income in Spain fell 1.9 percent this year to 24,609 euros ($32,109), according to the latest national survey on living conditions.
With Spain mired in recession for the second time in four years, 12.7 percent of families said they struggle to make their money last until the end of the month, compared with 9.8 percent last year.