Spanish Economy Shows Resilience in April Despite Politics

  • April jobless data and activity gauge beat economist survey
  • Nation to hold repeat election June 26 after talks failed

The Spanish economy showed fresh signs of resilience in April as unemployment fell more than forecast and a gauge of activity beat expectations while the nation gears up for a June election.

Data on Wednesday showed the number of Spaniards without a job dropped by approximately 83,600, exceeding the 81,700 forecast in a Bloomberg News
survey.

Meanwhile, the Spain Markit Composite PMI index jumped to 55.2 in April, beating the median economist estimate of an increase to 54.8 and adding to three months of expansion. A gauge of activity in the services sector also grew, albeit at a slower pace.

The Spanish economy showed continuing momentum in the first quarter, when it accelerated more than expected despite lacking a government after an inconclusive election result in December. Spaniards head to the polls for the second time in six months on June 26 with opinion polls showing no party is likely to win a majority.

Speaking to Cadena Ser radio, caretaker Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who is running for re-election, said Wednesday that Spain’s economy could grow closer to 3 percent in 2016 if momentum is sustained. The administration’s latest official forecast calls for 2.7 percent expansion this year, while the European Commission sees growth of 2.6 percent.

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