Spain exited its multi-billion dollar aid program at the end of 2013, but economists are uncertain whether growth lies ahead for the country this year — despite upbeat economic data out on Thursday.
Factory activity in Spain climbed in December, according to the Markit PMI (purchasing managers index) published on January 2, rising 2.2 points to 50.8, with export orders reading a healthy 53.0. A reading over 50 marks expansion.
Meanwhile, Anfac, the Spanish car maker association, said car sales in 2013 were up a healthy 3.3 percent on the previous year.
Bond markets received the data well, with yields on benchmark 10-year Spanish debt — used to calculate mortgages and other consumer loans — falling below 4 percent for the first time since May last year.
However, analysts were unconvinced that the recent uptick in Spanish exports was sustainable enough to drive economic expansion in 2014.
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