The European Commission said Tuesday that it expected Spain's economy to grow at double its earlier projection for 2014, with the gross domestic product (GDP) expanding by 1 percent and the unemployment rate falling to 25.7 percent.
Spain's recovery "will strengthen in the coming quarters," thanks to rising confidence and some improvement in lending conditions, but the high debt and jobless levels will still "weigh" on growth prospects, the commission said.
"A greater than expected slowdown in the emerging economies and, in particular, in South America" would pose a risk for Spain given the significant exposure that Spanish banks have in those countries, the European Commission said.
Spain's economy began to take off in the fourth quarter of 2013, with GDP falling by 1.2 percent, or one-tenth of a percentage point less than projected.
The Spanish economy's upward trend "will be consolidated during the present year, and it will gain some additional momentum in 2015," the commission said.
Spain's economy is expected to grow 1.7 percent in 2015, while the growth rate of exports, which have been the engine of the economy for some months, will slow, the European Commission said.
The unemployment rate, which hit a record 27.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013, is projected to ease, with job creation growing in 2014, the commission said.
Spain's unemployment rate should fall to 25.7 percent this year and 24.6 percent in 2015, the commission said. EFE