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Rise in consumer spending

Thu 18th Feb 2010

Consumer spending increased slightly in the last quarter of 2009, the first rise the country has seen in two years.

Spending increased by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of last year, compared with the third, whilst the GDP for the same period continued to drop, albeit only slightly, with a fall of 0.1%.

According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE) consumer spending has not risen in Spain since the final quarter of 2007, so this small rise adds to overall improvement in the different components of the country's GDP.

Nevertheless, the overall figures for the economy saw a 3.6% drop compared with last year, the biggest fall in four decades.

Employment figures are the most alarming, with a 6.1% increase in unemployment, equating to 1.25 million fewer full-time jobs compared with the previous year.

Despite the small rise in consumer spending at the end of last year, the overall figures for 2009 showed a 3.5% drop in spending compared with 2008, whilst wages also fell 2.7%, slightly less than previously.

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