Industrial output in Spain, the euro area’s fourth-largest economy, dropped for a 16th straight month in December as spending cuts aggravated the country’s recession.
Output at factories, refineries and mines adjusted for the number of working days fell 6.9 percent from a year earlier, after declining a revised 7 percent in November, the National Statistics Institute in Madrid said in an e-mailed statement today. The figure matched a median of seven estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.
Spain’s economy is set to shrink for a second year in 2013, with the International Monetary Fund predicting a 1.5 percent contraction that may propel unemployment close to 27 percent. The European Commission last month said it may recommend easing fiscal goals as Spain, which is implementing the deepest budget cuts in the nation’s democratic history, struggles to tackle a deficit that is the second-largest in the euro region.
The country’s vehicle production and exports fell 16.6 percent in 2012, Spanish automobile organization ANFAC said on Jan. 29. Carmaker Seat may cut as many as 740 jobs, La Vanguardia reported last month.
In unadjusted terms, industrial production fell 8.5 percent in December from a year earlier after a revised 7 percent in November.
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