The Spanish economy shrank for the sixth straight quarter from October to December, and at its fastest quarterly pace since mid-2009, official final gross domestic product data showed.
The contribution of domestic demand to growth was seven percentage points lower than in the previous quarter and stood at -4.7 percent while external demand increased by four-tenths its contribution to quarterly GDP, from 2.4 to 2.8 percent.
In the fourth quarter, employment fell at an annual rate of 4.7 percent, one tenth more than in the third quarter, representing a net reduction of approximately 805 thousand full-time jobs in a year. Meanwhile, working hours decreased at a rate of 3.9 percent. Unit labor costs recorded an annual rate of -5.8 percent, approximately six points below the implicit GDP deflator (0.1 percent).
Spanish GDP shrank 1.4 percent in 2012 from a year earlier, after growing 0.4 percent in 2011 year on year. It was the second worst yearly result since the series began in 1970, in the days of the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.