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Spain Economic Growth Improves In Q4

Spain's economic growth improved in the final three months of 2018, after holding steady in the previous three quarters, preliminary figures from the statistical office INE showed on Thursday.

Gross domestic product grew 0.7 percent from the third quarter, when the economy expanded 0.3 percent, same as in the previous two quarters. Economists had forecast 0.6 percent growth.

The pace of growth was the fastest since the fourth quarter of 2017, when the economy expanded at the same rate. A faster rate of growth, 0.9 percent, was last seen in the second quarter of 2017.

The quarterly growth was largely driven by a strong rebound in exports, up 1.9 percent, and imports, up 1.1 percent. State spending, up 1.2 percent, also underpinned the fourth quarter expansion, while investment declined.

On a year-on-year basis, GDP rose 2.4 percent year-on-year, same pace as in the third quarter. Economists had expected a modest easing to 2.3 percent.

The full year growth for 2018 was 2.5 percent, which was the weakest pace since 2014, when the economy expanded 1.4 percent. In 2017, growth was 3 percent.

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