The Spanish economy contracted 0.80 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 as consumer spending continued to weaken, the National Statistics Institute, or INE, said Thursday.

The decline in the gross domestic product (GDP) in the October-December 2012 period was five-tenths of a percent higher than in the previous quarter, the INE said.

Employment fell at an annual rate of 4.7 percent in the fourth quarter, or one-tenth of a percent more than in the third quarter of last year, representing a net loss of approximately 805,000 full-time jobs in a year.

Spain has been battered by an economic meltdown that sent the unemployment rate skyrocketing to 26 percent. EFE