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Spain upgrades 2014 economy outlook, sees new jobs

Spain predicted Tuesday a faster-than-expected economic recovery and net job growth in 2014 as it emerges from five years of stop-start recession with a 26-percent unemployment rate. Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said Spain's battered economy would generate jobs growth next year, a first since a decade-long property bubble imploded in 2008, ushering in a double-dip recession.

"In 2014, the Spanish economy will not only grow - growth in the order of one percent is expected - but Spain will also create net jobs," De Guindos told a conference in Brussels. De Guindos said he expected the eurozone's fourth-largest economy to expand by about 1.0 percent in 2014, compared to an official growth forecast of 0.7 percent. An official revision will not be released until late April, he said.

Analysts say the big question remains whether the economy will be strong enough to create jobs for many of the 5.9 million people unemployed in the last quarter of 2013, equal to more than 26 percent of the workforce. Spain's economy crawled out of recession with 0.1-percent growth in the third quarter of 2013. But both the government and the Bank of Spain estimate that growth picked up to a better-than-expected 0.3-percent pace in the final quarter, leading to the upward revision for 2014.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 18, 2014
Reserves $14.04 bln