Madrid. — The economy has now “decoupled” from those countries under EU and IMF bailouts, the Bank of Spain said yesterday. “In the opening months of 2011, the Spanish economy continued growing at a weak rate against the background of the progressive recovery in the world economy, but one not free from the emergence of fresh causes for uncertainty,” it said. “The estimates made drawing on the conjunctural information available suggest that GDP posted a quarter-on-quarter increase of 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011, unchanged on the previous quarter.” Spending
Year-on-year, “output continued on the path of slow recovery seen in previous quarters,” with growth of 0.7 percent.
The central bank said household spending “continued to show signs of a weak recovery,” and noted “the buoyancy of goods exports and the notable recovery in tourism.” Spain had now successfully “decoupled from the group of countries most affected by the tensions on sovereign debt markets,” it said. “Market perceptions came round to drawing this distinction thanks, among other reasons, to the new measures adopted to strengthen Spanish credit institutions? solvency and to the headway made in structural reform, following the approval of the draft bill on pension reform.” The Spanish economy slumped into recession during the second half of 2008 as the global financial meltdown compounded the collapse of the once-booming property market.

It emerged with meagre growth in early 2010, but ended the year with a contraction of 0.1 percent.
Spain, where the economy is the size of the Greek, Irish and Portuguese economies combined, is now battling to convince markets that it should not be lumped together with the three lame ducks now under EU and IMF rescue terms.