Spanish economy shrinks in Q4, nearing recession

  • Express bus drivers say crashes not entirely their fault
    Express bus drivers say crashes not entirely their fault

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 — Swift enforcement and a proper monitoring system must be put in place as bus drivers and passengers shared their views over the Transport Ministry’s latest guidelines on... …

  • MH192’s number three main wheel burst during take off, says Hishammuddin – Bernama
    MH192’s number three main wheel burst during take off, says Hishammuddin – Bernama

    Preliminary investigation findings on the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH192 incident has revealed that the number three main wheel of the aircraft had burst during take off. Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (pic) said the aircraft was currently grounded at the MAS Engineering facility in Kuala Lumpur International... …

  • Bible banned from Pahang hotel rooms – Bernama

    The Pahang Islamic and Malay Customs Council (MAIP) has prohibited hotel proprietors in the state from placing religious reading materials of other religions other than Islam in their rooms. According to MAIP deputy president, Datuk Seri Wan Abdul Wahid Wan Hassan, a letter of prohibition on the matter had been sent to 147 hotels across the... …

  • Pre-lim report to ICAO not public, yet

    Malaysia has yet to decide on whether the preliminary report on the MH370 incident submitted to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will be made public.   "We have issued the preliminary report. We've sent it to ICAO but we have not made a decision to release to media or the public," Department of Civil Aviation Chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur.   Asked again on why it will not be released to public, although it is common practice, …

  • Take second job to tackle household debt, urges AKPK – Bernama
    Take second job to tackle household debt, urges AKPK – Bernama

    The Credit Counseling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) has urged Malaysians to take a second job to help them tackle the high rate of household debt. Chief executive officer Koid Swee Lian (pic) said those in the teaching line, for example, could give extra classes to earn more money. "Teachers could earn more money by giving tuition to... …

  • International team probing MH370 to be finalised next week, Hishammuddin says
    International team probing MH370 to be finalised next week, Hishammuddin says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — Malaysia expects to finalise by next week the list of members on the independent team of experts commissioned by Putrajaya to carry out an extensive probe on the... …

MADRID (AP) — Spain's economy contracted by 0.3 percent during the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with the previous three months, according to official data released Monday, edging the country closer to a new recession as it deals with huge levels of unemployment and painful austerity cuts.

The figure announced by the National Statistics Institute broke a run of seven quarters without economic contraction.

The economy is expected to slide further through March, placing Spain back in its second recession in less than three years. A technical recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction.

Compared with a year earlier, GDP rose 0.3 percent, the institute said. For all of 2011, it increased 0.7 percent.

The country, where unemployment has hit a eurozone-high of 22.9 percent, is struggling to avoid slumping further into a debt crisis that has seen Greece, Ireland and Portugal needing financial bailouts.

Spain began in 2010 to emerge from a near two-year recession triggered by the collapse of a real estate bubble that had fueled growth for nearly a decade and helped make it Europe's top job creator up to 2008.

But the recovery has gone into reverse. The Bank of Spain says the debt crisis has sapped business confidence and dried up bank credits, leading to a huge drop in domestic demand, only partially offset by strong exports.

The bank predicts the economy will contract 1.5 percent this year while the International Monetary Fund says Spain will stay in recession until the end of 2013.

The figures are putting the new right-leaning Popular Party government, which took office last month, under increased pressures to usher in reforms.

On Friday, it introduced a budget-discipline law that will allow the government to impose penalties on debt-laden regional governments if they run deficits after 2020. It has also promised labor and financial sector overhauls in the next few weeks.

Spain's deficit for 2011 is expected to be 8 percent of national income. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government says it is still committed to reducing that to 4.4 percent in 2012 and down to the EU limit of 3 percent the following year, although with a recession looming, that pledge may prove impossible to keep.

Since taking office Dec. 23, the government has also approved austerity measures and tax increases it hopes will bring in some euro15 billion ($19.7 billion) to help ease the swollen deficit.

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer The Malaysian Insider
    MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer

    The partner of an American passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has spoken about how a Fox executive who was recently sacked by the news station had contacted her offering to raise funds on her behalf. Sarah Bajc, whose partner Philip Wood is among the 239 people on board the missing plane, told the Sydney Morning Herald... …

  • The Poop on Pooping: 5 Misconceptions Explained LiveScience.com

    Here is the truth behind five common misconceptions about defecating. Misconception No. 1: Daily pooping is normal, and optimal. …

  • Dr Ling’s son chose wine over woman, court hears The Malaysian Insider
    Dr Ling’s son chose wine over woman, court hears

    The son of former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik today reached an out of court settlement with his ex-girlfriend in a breach of contract suit over seven properties registered under their joint names. Ling Hee Leong and businesswoman Teh Chee Yen agreed to settle out of court after he took the stand briefly and testified that he had chosen... …