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Spain’s economy might be close to turning a corner, but that’s not saying much

AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos
The Spanish newsstand is not a happy place.
This article is more than 2 years old.

Spain’s economic contraction slowed to just 0.1% during the second quarter, following a 0.5% decline in economic output during the first three months of the year.

That puts Spain’s economy on pace to shrink by 1.7% in 2013, as opposed to the 2.0% annual run rate seen during the first quarter. That’s progress, of a sort.

But not that much progress. The key metric to watch is not revision-prone GDP. (Today’s number was just the first estimate of economic output for the quarter.) The most important number is unemployment, which remains dire at 26.3%. Here’s a look at 25 years worth of data to give you a sense of the problem.

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