Spain economy to be better in 2013: Mariano Rajoy

Spain economy to be better in 2013: Mariano Rajoy Barcelona: Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has expressed confidence that 2013 will be a better year and that the economic crisis can begin to be overcome in the near future.

Rajoy sounded that optimistic note at the close of a two-day meeting here of the ruling Popular Party.

Referring to the news that Spain's unemployment rate climbed to a record high of more than 25 percent in the third quarter, the premier said he is aware that many Spaniards are "having a rough time" but that the outlook for next year is better.

Citing various macroeconomic figures, including Spain's current trade surplus with the remaining euro-zone countries, he said the Iberian nation will soon start to "overcome this crisis, which is one of the toughest" it has ever experienced.

The ranks of Spain's unemployed climbed by 85,000 in the third quarter to more than 5.75 million, pushing the jobless rate to a record 25.02 percent, the National Statistics Institute, or INE, said Friday.

Construction, which was hammered by the collapse of a decade-long real estate boom, was the only sector not to see increases in unemployment over the 12 months ending Sep 30, the INE said.

Spain has the highest jobless rate in the 27-member European Union.

The Iberian nation's economy contracted 0.4 percent in the third quarter and continues to face strong headwinds, the central bank said earlier this week.

IANS