Spain’s economy has suffered another blow today after preliminary estimates have revealed the economy has suffered its steepest fall since 1959.
According to the National Statistics Institute, which is set to release final statistics next week, GDP fell 1.8% compared with the previous quarter and is down 2.9% on an annualised basis.
The Spanish Government has forecasted GDP will contract by 1.6% in 2009.
The country entered recession late last year and the European Commission is forecasting that Spain will be the last EU member to come out of recession.
Earlier this month, Spain’s Labour Ministry revealed that unemployment continued to rise in April for the 13th consecutive month, albeit the rise is slowing.
A further 39,478 people registered as unemployed in April, against the 123,543 who registered the previous month.
Spain has one of the highest unemployment rates in the euro zone after reaching 17.4% at the end of March.
The country has been a major force in the EU economy but the country has been hit hard following the collapse of the construction industry.