February 8, 2018 / 8:59 AM / a year ago

Spain December industrial output grows at fastest rate in almost 18 years

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish industrial output grew in December at its fastest pace since May 2000, official data showed on Thursday, the latest data to back expectations of continued strength in the domestic economy.

Calendar-adjusted industrial output rose 6.1 percent year-on-year in December, according to data from the National Statistics Institute, above Reuters forecasts for a 3.9 percent increase.

Spain suffered an almost five year recession until the second half of 2013 when the economy began a long, slow turn around boosted by strong exports and rising domestic demand.

Economic output rose 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter from a quarter earlier, preliminary figures show, and is expected to have grown at a similar pace in the first three months of 2018.

The economy could also grow by around 3 percent this year, the Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said on Wednesday, after flash data showed 3.1 percent expansion in 2017 year on year.

Markit’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) showed Feb. 1 that Spain’s factories continued to grow at a solid pace in January, driven by new orders and rising employment.

All industrial sectors registered growth, with most notable expansion seen in the energy sector, up 9.7 percent, and capital goods, up 9.3 percent from a year earlier, INE said.

In November, output rose 4.6 percent year on year, revised from a previous reading of 4.2 percent.

Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

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