I’ve been following several of the countries that are experiencing seriously-struggling economies in the EU, and Spain is definitely having major problems, as I’ve been reading in Angeline Benoit’s article on BusinessWeek.com from Bloomberg. Just this week, the National Statistics Institute in Madrid INE reported that
“output at factories, refineries and mines adjusted for the number of working days, fell 6.3 percent from a year earlier, after declining a revised 6.5 percent in May.”
Spain’s unemployment is now up over 24% with bankruptcy rates increased 28.6% in the last three months (from June), and it doesn’t look like anything is going to change if you judge by Spain’s Prime Minster Mariano Rajoy’s increases in budget cuts and taxes through to 2014.
I don’t know what to make of this. Frankly, I’m not well-versed in the relatively young (34 years old) democratic history of Spain, but I can’t help but use them as a gauge for how grateful I guess we SHOULD feel with our relatively low and even declining unemployment and bankruptcy rates.
It looks like the European Central Bank will help a bit with some rescue funds, but I’m guessing that, if they can’t secure solid manufacturing and exporting contracts, a bailout will be like applying a band-aid to a gunshot wound.