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Spain Economy Shows Rapid Improvement After Easing Of Lockdown

Attendees sit around a cauldron during a state ceremony to honour the 28,400 victims of the coronavirus crisis as well as those public servants who have been fighting on the front line against the pandemic in Spain, on July 16, 2020, at the Royal Palace in Madrid. Juanjo Martin / POOL / AFP

Juanjo Martin / POOL / AFP

The Spanish economy, the eurozone’s fourth-biggest, rebounded sharply in the third quarter as a lifting of the coronavirus lockdown saw activity resume, official data showed on Friday.

Spain’s gross domestic product expanded by 16.7 percent in the three months to September from the preceding quarter, but was still down 8.7 percent on a year-on-year basis, the national statistics institute INE calculated.

In the second quarter, draconian lockdown measures to try to stamp out the pandemic had led to an economic contraction of 17.8 percent.

Tourism, a major pillar of the Spanish economy, was among the hardest-hit sectors, with foreign visitor numbers down by as much as 75 percent during the summer.

INE cautioned that the preliminary third-quarter data could still be revised “more substantially than usual” given the difficulties in collating statistics at a time of deep economic disruption.

Looking at 2020 as a whole, the Spanish government is projecting an overall contraction in GDP of 11.2 percent, while the International Monetary Fund is expecting the Spanish economy to shrink by as much as 12.8 percent.

Economy Minister Nadia Calvino warned that “we are currently facing great uncertainty, both on a European and on a global level,” and many countries have imposed even tighter restrictions in recent days to rein in a second wave of virus infections.


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