Spanish April Industrial Output Declines as Recession Lingers

Spanish industrial output declined for a 20th month in April, contracting less than economists forecast, as the euro area’s fourth-largest economy remains mired in a recession the government predicts will end this year.

Production at factories, refineries and mines adjusted for the number of working days fell 1.8 percent from a year earlier, after declining a revised 0.8 percent in March, the National Statistics Institute in Madrid said in an e-mailed statement today. That compares with economists’ forecast of a 2.6 percent decline, according to six estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is counting on exports to end a six-year slump after changing labor rules to help companies cut payroll costs. Gross domestic product contracted for a seventh quarter in the first three months of the year as the toughest austerity measures in the nation’s democratic history and a 27 percent unemployment rate sap domestic demand.

Still, foreign sales reached a record high last year, and the country posted its first trade surplus in more than four decades in March. Companies such as swimming-pool supplier Fluidra SA (FDR) have succeeded in boosting sales close to pre-crisis levels by finding foreign buyers to offset slumping demand in Spain.

The statistics office had initially reported a 0.6 percent contraction in March.

To contact the reporter on this story: Angeline Benoit in Madrid at abenoit4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.