Sterling slips as Spain suffers

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The Independent Online

Austerity-stricken Spain's deepening recession failed to give the markets a reality check as sterling lost yet more ground against the euro.

Spain's economy shrank 0.7 per cent between October and December, for the sixth quarter in a row of shrinking output. The latest fall meant the nation's output was 1.8 per cent lower than a year earlier.

The European Commission is now likely to give Spain, blighted by 26 per cent unemployment, more leeway to hit its deficit-cutting targets.