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Spain says economy growing at fastest rate since 2008

MADRID (AP) — Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos says the economy is growing at the strongest rate since the economic crisis began in 2008.

De Guindos said Wednesday the economy is growing at a rate of close to 4 percent in the first six months compared with the same period a year earlier. That is half a percentage point more than initially forecast.

He said growth in the second quarter should exceed the 0.9 percent quarter-on-quarter rate recorded in the first three months.

Spain was hit hard by the global financial crisis and only emerged from a double-dip recession at the end of 2013. The economy is now among the fastest-growing in Europe.

The ruling Popular Party hopes the rebound will stem its slide in ratings in time for elections this year.

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