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Spain's 2nd Quarter GDP Grows By 0.2%

Source: Dow Jones - Sun 8th Aug 2010

Spanish gross domestic product growth strengthened in the second quarter thanks to government stimulus programs and buoyant international trade, Bank of Spain data showed Friday.

In its July economic bulletin, the Spanish central bank estimated Spanish second-quarter GDP rose 0.2% from the first quarter. In the first quarter, Spanish GDP returned to quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.1% after six consecutive quarters of contraction.

In annual terms, second-quarter GDP fell 0.2%, the central bank added.

The Bank of Spain's GDP estimates are traditionally very close to, if not the same as, official data from the National Statistics Institute, or INE. The INE will give its first reading of second-quarter GDP growth Aug. 13.

Spain is grappling with the collapse of a decade-long construction boom that has sent unemployment spiraling to 20% and punched a large hole in its public-sector accounts. After Greece's financial meltdown, Spain has faced increasing difficulties to finance its budget deficit, forcing it to raise some taxes and abruptly curtail stimulus efforts.

Many economists forecast these deficit-cutting measures could cause Spanish GDP to dip again in the second half of the year.

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