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Spanish gov't reports fastest economic growth in six years despite jobless rate

MADRID--Spain announced Wednesday its fastest economic growth in six years in the first quarter of 2014 even as it failed to dent a 26-percent unemployment rate.

Economic output rose at the quickest pace since a 2008 property crash tipped the nation into a double-dip recession, the National Statistics Institute said in an initial estimate.

Spain's economy grew at a quarterly rate of 0.4 percent, it said, the latest sign of a gathering yet modest recovery since the nation emerged from a two-year downturn in mid-2013.

Nevertheless, activity in the eurozone's fourth largest economy is too weak to offer hope for the six million people seeking in vain for a job.

The unemployment rate climbed to 25.93 percent in the first three months of 2014, up from 25.73 percent in the previous quarter, official data show.

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