Spain recession deeper than previously thought after 0.8 per cent Q4 contraction

MADRID – Spain’s National Statistics Office says the country’s recession is worse than previously thought with the economy shrinking by 0.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the previous three-month period.

The figure released Thursday was higher than last month’s preliminary estimate of a 0.7 per cent contraction and is more than double the third quarter’s 0.3 per cent drop.

Spain’s economy has been shrinking for the last 18 months with unemployment stands at 26 per cent.

The statistics department also says economic activity was down 1.9 per cent in the fourth quarter from the year-earlier period. For the whole of 2012, it shrank 1.4 per cent.

The government predicts the economy will start to stabilize in the second half of this year and emerge from recession in 2014.