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Spain expects even faster economic growth this year

Associated Press logo Associated Press 13/06/2017
A duck swims in a public fountain at the Temple of Debod park during a hot day with temperatures reaching 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit) in Madrid, Monday, June 12, 2017. After 3 days of high temperatures, the prediction is that it is going to get even hotter over the next few days. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco) © The Associated Press A duck swims in a public fountain at the Temple of Debod park during a hot day with temperatures reaching 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit) in Madrid, Monday, June 12, 2017. After 3 days of high temperatures, the prediction is that it is going to get even hotter over the next few days. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

MADRID — Spain's central bank has revised upward its 2017 growth forecast from 2.8 percent to 3.1 percent owing to strong consumer demand and exports.

In a report Tuesday, the bank also revised upward its expected growth figure for 2018 from 2.3 percent to 2.5 percent.

Conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has made economic growth and job creation his main goals since taking office in 2011 in the middle of an economic crisis.

Spain is now among the fastest-growing economies and biggest job creators in the EU, although its 19 percent unemployment rate is still the second-highest in the 28-country bloc, behind Greece.

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