Spain may post its second successive quarter of negative growth by the year's end, the economy minister said Tuesday, thus pushing the country into a recession for the first time in 15 years.
"The fourth quarter is a quarter that could see negative growth, if it does the conclusion is obvious," Economy Minister Pedro Solbes said.
Two successive quarters of negative growth is considered a sign of a recession.
Solbes made the comments after the Bank of Spain said in its December report that the signs are that the fourth quarter will follow the pattern of the third one, which saw the economy shrinking by 0.2 percent.
Spain is the No. 4 economy in the euro zone and, according to some indicators, the eighth biggest in the world. Up to a few years ago, Spain was the EU's top job-creator, but it now has the region's highest unemployment at 11.3 percent.