Local police officers patrol in front of the city hall in Plaza Cibeles in Madrid, Spain. AFP
Spain recorded a historic fall in GDP in the second quarter of the year, with the 18.5% drop wiping out all the post-financial crisis recovery of the last six years, data from National Statistics Institute showed on Friday.
The contraction, triggered by one of Europe's strictest coronavirus lockdowns, was worse than the 16.6% expected by analysts. It came after a 5.2% drop in the first quarter, dragging Spain into its steepest recession ever, at a record pace. On an annual basis, the economy shrank by 22.1%, versus a 4.1% contraction in the previous quarter.
Private spending was the factor that most dragged the economy down, along with investment and falling exports.
Spain had been growing for 24 quarters in a row until the first quarter, and was beginning to fully recover from the 2008 financial crisis.
The government has forecast a contraction of 9.2% in 2020, surpassing the fall during Spain's 2008-2013 financial crisis, and has said it expects 6.8% growth in 2021.
With tourism hard hit by a UK quarantine and travel advisories, the third quarter, which was expected to mark the start of an economic rebound, will be weaker than expected, said Raymond Torres, chief economist of think tank Funcas.
Spain depends on tourism for 12.3% of its economic output.Reuters
Barcelona has become one of the world's top tourist destinations thanks to its Mediterranean climate, mesmerising architecture and liberal way of life.
The halls are eerily quiet at Madrid's Reina Sofia, Spain's most visited museum, as a solitary art restorer looks after its star attraction -- Pablo Picasso's anti-war masterpiece "Guernica".
The deployment of a military emergency brigade to set up a field hospital in Zaragoza this week is a grim reminder that Spain is far from claiming victory over the coronavirus that devastated the European country in March and April.
The 5th Arab Water Forum (AWF) took off on Tuesday in Dubai, with more than 600 delegates, participants from 22 Arab countries pledging their strong commitment to water security
Villa segment is expected to drive strong growth in Dubai real estate sector during the fourth quarter as consumer and investor sentiments are up ahead of Expo 2020 Dubai, according to Zoom Property Insights.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, has attended the inaugural session of the 2021