MADRID – The Spanish economy grew at its fastest rate in six years in the first quarter, a strong indicator that the country is recovering from a severe crisis.
The National Statistics Institute said Wednesday the economy expanded by 0.4 percent January through March. It was the best quarter since the first three-month period of 2008, when the economy grew by 0.5 percent.
The first quarter rate was double that of the previous three-month period.
Compared with a year earlier, the economy grew by 0.6 percent in the quarter, the first annual growth figure after nine quarters of contraction.
Spain emerged from a double-dip recession in the third quarter of 2013 but is still battling with a 26 percent unemployment rate.