Spain's Standout GDP Growth Hasn't Done Much For Its Atrociously High Unemployment Rate

The Spanish economy grew at an impressive (for Europe) 2% year-over-year in the last quarter of 2014.

That seems like really good news!

But in reality it’s hiding continued underlying weakness in the economy. 2% is great, but only because growth in the rest of Europe is anemic.

And Spain’s only growing in comparison to how absolutely awful things got. Capital Economics’ Jonathan Loynes wrote in a note Friday, “Spain remains one of the weakest economies in terms of the levels of activity. GDP is still almost 6% below its 2008 peak, pointing to the existence of a very large amount of spare capacity in the economy.

And there’s a bigger problem: Unemployment in Spain is still the second-highest in the EU, at 23.7%.

So don’t break out the cava yet.

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