Spain shrinks for seventh quarter

Spain's beleaguered economy is still gasping for air, declining for a seventh quarter in a row between January and March.

The country, struggling with record unemployment of 26.7 per cent, saw its economy shrink another 0.5 per cent as it continues to suffer the effects of a burst property bubble and austerity measures under Mariano Rajoy's centre-right government.

Madrid slashed economic forecasts last week and is braced for a 1.3 per cent slide for 2013 overall, with the economy predicted to expand again in the final three months, although some economists think it will take longer.