Spain escaped from a two-year recession in the third quarter of this year with growth of 0.1 percent, though unemployment remained extremely high, official data showed on Wednesday.
People wait in line at a government employment office in the center of Madrid on September 4, 2012
Strengthening exports drove the recovery in the eurozone's fourth-biggest economy despite weak internal demand, the National Statistics Institute said in a statement.
The growth figure meant a technical end to the recession as measured in terms of contraction in output.
But economists warn of continuing challenges to recovery and expect unemployment to remain painfully high for years.
The unemployment rate was 25.98 percent, a slight decline from the previous quarter but still one of the highest in the eurozone, according to separate INE data released last week.
It was Spain's second recession in five years, sparked by the collapse of a building boom in 2008 which last year made the country a focus of concern for the stability of the whole eurozone.
Wednesday's figures -- preliminary data from the institute which are due to be confirmed on November 28 -- confirmed last week's estimate from Spain's central bank.
"While economic prospects are considerably better than a year ago, particularly in the external sector, domestic weakness is like to hold back any recovery in the wider economy," said a report on Wednesday's data from analysis group Capital Economics.
"We expect the unemployment rate to remain around its current high levels for some time yet and public debt to continue to climb."
The Spanish government expects an overall contraction of 1.3 percent for 2013 -- slightly better than the 1.6 percent in 2012 -- before a return to timid growth of 0.7 percent in 2014.
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