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Spain's economy to grow, says minister

Spain,Business/Economy, Thu, 24 Apr 2014 IANS

Madrid, April 24 (IANS/EFE) Spain's economy will grow at an average of 1.5 percent in 2014-15, authorities said.

"Everything indicates that the Spanish economy's recovery has continued in the first quarter of the year," Xinhua quoted Economy Minister Luis de Guindos as saying Wednesday.

Spain will have a "sustained recovery" with net job creation for the first time since the economic crisis hit, De Guindos said, adding that job growth should be "relatively significant" over the two-year period.

Spain's economy contracted by 1.2 percent in 2013, but it grew 0.20 percent in the fourth quarter.

The economic indicators still point to "growth that is clearly insufficient" given the unemployment rate, but it is "quite above" the levels of the last six years of the recession, De Guindos said.

The numbers will be evaluated as part of the review of the stabilisation plan and the national reform plan that the government would submit to the European Union at the end of this month, the economy minister said.

De Guindos, however, refused to provide specific figures for this year and 2015.

"The important thing is not the actual tenth (of a percentage point), but that with two years of average growth of 1.5 percent, the Spanish economy's performance is substantially different," De Guindos said.

The government is forecasting gross domestic product (GDP) growth of one percent for 2014.



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