Jan. 30 - Spain's GDP shrunk by 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, it's sixth straight quarter of contraction, as unemployment soars. Hayley Platt reports.
0.7 percent is today's daily digit in Europe - that's the amount Spain's economy contracted in the final three months of last year. It's worse than forecast, pushing Spain's economy deeper into recession. Unemployment is a big factor - one in four of the working population are jobless. That, together with the government's harsh austerity measures, is putting a strain on household budgets. Fiona Cincotta is with City Index. SOUNDBITE: Fiona Cincotta, City Index, saying (English): "This particular figure was really quite important because it is the first european figure of growth this year, so it really will be setting expectations for the year, so investors will have been looking quite closely at how Spain was performing. Although we were expecting a contraction, the level of contraction I think was a little bit more surprising." Spain has struggled to break free from a debt burden that's still growing. It fell back into recession at the end of 2011 following the collapse of its property sector. The government says it expects the economy to start growing again by the end of the year. But economists are doubtful despite a new package of stimulus on the way.