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Spain's central bank says Q3 GDP shrinks by 0.4%

MADRID--Spain's economy continued to shrink in the third quarter, contracting by 0.4 percent compared with the previous three months, according to central bank estimates Tuesday that will increase pressure on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to seek financial help from Europe.

This is the fifth quarter in a row that Spain's economic output has contracted. The economy also shrank by 0.4 percent in the second quarter and 0.3 percent in the first quarter and is forecast to show a 1.5 percent fall this year and 0.5 percent in 2013.

Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund forecast that Spain's economy would contract 1.3 percent next year, more than double the government's prediction.

The central bank's figure is an estimate. Official figures are due to be released by the National Statistics Institute on Oct. 30.

The bank said consumer demand fell by 1. 2 percent — although the decline eased a little in the third quarter due to increased spending ahead of a sales tax increase on Sept. 1.

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