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Spain revises Q4 growth downward to 0.2 per cent, contracted 1.2 pct over year

In this Feb. 24, 2014 file photo, Antonia Ortega 50 years old, centre, receives a letter from court re-confirming her and her family's eviction as they wait for the police to arrive, in Madrid, Spain. Economic growth across Europe is expected to be slightly stronger this year as the recovery gains ground, according to the European Commission's new forecast released Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014.

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In this Feb. 24, 2014 file photo, Antonia Ortega 50 years old, centre, receives a letter from court re-confirming her and her family's eviction as they wait for the police to arrive, in Madrid, Spain. Economic growth across Europe is expected to be slightly stronger this year as the recovery gains ground, according to the European Commission's new forecast released Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. "The recovery in the European Union is gaining ground and spreading across countries although it remains modest," said Commissioner Olli Rehn, the bloc's top economic official. "The worst of the crisis may now be behind us." (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File)

MADRID - Spain's National Statistics Institute says the economy grew a smaller-than-expected 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with the previous three-month period.

The figure released Thursday revised earlier predictions by the institute and the Bank of Spain that estimated the economy had grown by 0.3 per cent for the October-December period.

The institute confirmed that economic activity shrank 1.2 per cent for the whole of 2013.

Spain, which has a 26 per cent unemployment rate, emerged from recession in the third quarter of last year after nine quarters of economic decline.

The government maintains the country is on the mend thanks to its reforms and sacrifices endured by Spaniards since the economic crisis was triggered by the collapse of the key real estate sector in 2008.

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