Spain's economy grows 1 percent in Q2, fastest rate since 2007, before crisis started

Spain's economy expanded by 1 percent in the second quarter compared with the previous three-month period, its best rate since before the economic crisis began in 2007.

It was Spain's eight consecutive quarterly growth figure.

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The National Statistics Institute said Thursday the economy grew at a year-on-year rate of 3.1 percent in the second quarter.

Spain was battered by the global financial crisis and only emerged from a double-dip recession at the end of 2013. It still has a 22.4 percent unemployment rate, the second highest in the European Union after Greece.

The government says the economy will grow 3.3 percent this year and 3 percent in 2016.

The ruling conservative Popular Party hopes the recovery will stem its plunging popularity ratings in time for general elections later this year.