Spanish industry turns back on two-year slump

Spanish industry turns back on two-year slump
Production of motor vehicles in Spain has grown seven percent year-on-year. Photo: Spencer Cooper
Spain's industrial production grew in September for the first time in two years, official data showed on Thursday, the latest sign of a rebound as the country emerges timidly from recession.

Industrial output grew by 1.4 percent compared to the level in September 2012, according to seasonally-adjusted data published by the national statistics institute, the INE.

That represented a marked improvement after declines of 2.1 percent in August and 1.2 percent in July. The measure had fallen sharply by 4.9 percent in January and 6.9 percent in February.

September's recovery was led by a 6.4-percent rise in production of capital goods, a category that includes machinery, metal building components and vehicle parts.

Production in the energy sector was still on the decline though, falling 2.3 percent in September after a six-percent decline in August, the figures showed.

Production of motor vehicles grew by seven percent compared with a year earlier — a key export sector which the government hopes will help drive the recovery.

Spain has suffered two recessions since a real estate bubble burst in 2008, but official preliminary figures this month indicated that it emerged from the latest downturn in the third quarter with timid growth of 0.1 percent.

Economists warn of lingering threats to its economic recovery, however, and say that unemployment — currently just under 26 percent — will remain painfully high for years.

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