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Spain Exports Increase as Rajoy Seeks Lasting Economic Recovery

Nov. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Spanish export growth accelerated in September as foreign trade lifted the euro-area’s fourth-largest economy out of a two-year recession.

Exports rose 8.3 percent in September from a year earlier, data released today by the Economy Ministry in Madrid show. Shipments abroad increased 4.4 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, compared with an 11.9 percent gain in the three months through June. The trade deficit narrowed 16.1 percent in September from a year earlier to 2.59 billion euros ($3.5 billion). Imports grew 4.7 percent.

“The rise in Spanish exports to emerging economies is particularly striking,” Deputy Trade Minister Jaime Garcia-Legaz Ponce said during a news conference in Madrid. Spanish exports have been boosted by Spain’s gains in competitiveness and an increase in the number of exporting companies, he said.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is counting on foreign sales to generate 0.7 percent growth next year as the toughest austerity measures in Spain’s democratic history weigh on consumer spending. The economy grew 0.1 percent between July and September, snapping nine consecutive quarters of contraction.

Tubos Reunidos SA, which exports about 87 percent of its production, is investing in research on seamless-steel pipes at two plants in the north after securing a loan from the European Investment Bank.

The country’s 26 percent jobless rate, the second-highest in the European Union, will peak this year as the economy stabilizes, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said yesterday.

While the Paris-based organization lifted its 2014 growth forecast for Spain, it cut its global economic projections as emerging-market economies cool. That includes Brazil, where Spanish sales rose 33 percent since the start of the year, today’s data show.

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

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