Sharp fall in Spain’s unemployment rate

SPAIN’S economy was boosted yesterday by data showing a sharp decline in unemployment benefit claims.

Registered unemployment dropped by 1.87 per cent in May, compared to April, official figures showed.

Benefits were down 79,701, to 4.19m. Compared to the same time last year, jobless claims were still up 3.04 per cent.

The struggling Eurozone economy suffers the highest unemployment rate in Europe, exceeding 20 per cent of the workforce.

And new car registrations, a bellwether of economic health, are expected to have declined in Spain for May, according to Barclays Capital.

Across the Eurozone, registrations are unlikely to catch up with their historical averages any time soon, BarCap’s note claimed.