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Brussels cautious on Spain's 'mild recovery'

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Brussels cautious on Spain's 'mild recovery'
Photo: Matt May
12:44 CEST+02:00
Spain will grow faster than previously forecast in the next two years, but unemployment won't come down below 24 percent and public deficit will remain high, the European Commission said on Monday.

Spain can expect to see growth of 1.1 percent in 2014 and 2.1 percent in 2015, the Commission announced in its Spring 2014 forecast.

That 2014 figure is 0.1 percent lower than the Spanish government's figure. The Commission's 2015 forecast is, however, higher than the 1.8 percent predicted by Madrid.

Describing conditions in Spain as a "mild economic recovery", the Commission also said employment growth would "increase gradually".

According to the spring forecast, unemployment will come down from the current 25.93 percent to 24 percent at the end of 2015.

SEE ALSO: Seven shocking facts about Spanish unemployment

"Robust" exports were expected to underpin growth but the Commission warned a slow down in emerging economies, particularly in South America, could be a risk.

The Commission also said Spain's public budget balance would climb to 6.1 percent in 2014, well up on the 4.2 percent-level agreed to by the EU.

This is despite Spain's recent comments that it would hit the 4.2 percent target.    

"The recovery has now taken hold. Deficits have declined, investment is rebounding and, importantly, the employment situation has started improving," said Siim Kallas, Commission Vice-President.  

"Continued reform efforts by Member States and the EU itself are paying off, " he added.

The Spanish government recently revised up its own growth forecasts, and announced 600,000 new jobs would be created by the end of 2015.

The country's unions, however, highlighted the country's high unemployment said talk of a Spanish recovery was mere propaganda, designed to attract votes.

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