SPAIN has crawled out of a two-year long recession after its economy grew by 0.1 per cent in the first quarter of this year.

The Bank of Spain confirmed the first-quarter growth, ending seven consecutive quarters of contraction.

The slight growth was in line with central government’s predictions and will come as a relief to officials.

“The gradual improvement in the Spanish economy continued in the opening months of 2010,” said the Bank of Spain in a quarterly bulletin.

Just last week Spain’s credit rating was cut and it was also announced that national unemployment had also reached 20 per cent.

“While today’s GDP estimate by the Bank of Spain brings very good news, the growth outlook remains severely dampened,” explained UniCredit economist Tullia Bucco.

Spain’s economy shrank by 3.6 per cent in 2009.

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