State of the Nation

‘Spain to create half a million jobs in 2015’: PM

'Spain to create half a million jobs in 2015': PM
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy during a visit to a Ford factory near Valencia on February 5th, 2015. Photo: Jose Jordan/AFP
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy predicted on Tuesday that Spain's economy, the eurozone's fourth largest, could grow by 2.4 percent in 2015, raising the previous 2.0 percent forecast.

"With this (new) forecast, we are clearly in the position to create over 500,000 jobs in 2015," he said during an annual state of the nation debate in parliament.

The Spanish economy grew by 1.4 percent in 2014 due to a rise in private consumption, higher business investment and a recovery in the construction

It was the first full-year economic growth in Spain since a 2008 property crash which has left one in four workers unemployed and put thousands of companies out of business.

While the unemployment rate has started to fall, it stood at 23.7 percent at the end of 2014, the second highest rate in the eurozone after Greece.

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