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ECONOMY

Spain’s economy growing at pre-crisis levels again on back of consumption

Second-quarter GDP rise of 1.0% is the biggest expansion in eight years

Increased consumer confidence is driving Spain's economic growth.
Increased consumer confidence is driving Spain's economic growth. EFE

The Spanish economy grew 1.0% in the second quarter of 2015, according to data released Thursday by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

The figure is one tenth of a point higher than in the first quarter, and the highest in the last eight years, reflecting the kind of growth experienced prior to Spain’s economic crisis.

After years of stagnation, public spending also grew 0.4%, coinciding with May’s local and regional elections 

Consumers and investors are driving the renewed economic expansion. Second-quarter household consumption rose 1% on an annual basis, representing the ninth consecutive quarter of growth. Meanwhile, investment, particularly in capital goods and cultivated assets, expanded 2.2% from April to June.

After years of stagnation, public spending also advanced 0.4%, coinciding with the local and regional elections held in May.

The pace of GDP growth increased 3.1% from the same period in 2014. Domestic demand contributed 3.3 points to annual GDP growth in the second quarter of 2015, a rise of two tenths of a point from the January-to-March period.

Employment grew at a pace of 2.9%, a tenth of a point up from the first quarter, although the jobless rate is still around 22 percent, one of the highest in the European Union.

English version by Susana Urra