Spain's Unemployment Jumps to 26.02%, a High


La tasa de paro sube un punto respecto al tercer trimestre y se sitúa en el 26,02%.

In other words, Spain's unemployment rate moved to 26.02% in the last quarter of 2012, a staggering number that shows its economy could be mired in recession for years, and that the lack of stimulus brought on by austerity measures may have helped push joblessness higher.

The report came from Spain's INE.

According to Bloomberg:

"The government's forecast of a 0.5 percent contraction this year is already looking way too optimistic," Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics Ltd. in London, said by telephone. "We predict a 2.5 percent drop as the negative forces in recent quarters, including a dreadful labor market, persist."

The International Monetary Fund yesterday cut its forecast for gross domestic product in 2013 to show 1.5 percent contraction, from a 1.4 percent drop previously predicted.

The Bank of Spain said separately that the nation's recession worsened in the fourth quarter due to budget cuts. The central government and the regions started implementing (prime minister) Rajoy's fifth package of austerity measures in a year, including higher sales tax and cuts in unemployment benefits, public sector jobs and wages.

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