Spain remained stuck in recession in the fourth quarter, unlike other major European countries, as official figures released Thursday showed its economy shrank for a sixth consecutive quarter.
The news of the 0.1 percent drop in GDP in the last three months of 2009 came a day after Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Spain is close to following other European nations out of recession.
The National Statistics Institute said the fall compared to 0.3 percent decline in the third quarter.
Compared to the last three months of 2008, the fourth-largest economy in the eurozone contracted 3.1 percent, and for the whole year it fell 3.6 percent, the worst performance in decades.
The figures are preliminary, and final numbers will be released on Feb. 17. Thursday's data confirmed an estimate released last week by the Bank of Spain.
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