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Spain's central bank says economy grew 0.5 percent in Q2, confirms recovery gathering steam

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MADRID — The Bank of Spain says the country's economy continues to show signs of recovery, growing by 0.5 percent in the second quarter compared with the previous three months.

In provisional estimates released Wednesday, the bank raised its predictions for economic growth in 2014 from 1.2 percent to 1.3 percent, and from 1.8 percent to 2 percent for 2015.

If the April-June growth figures are confirmed by the National Statistics Institute's official report later this month, the economy will have grown over four consecutive quarters. It grew 0.4 percent in the first quarter, its fastest rate in six years.

Spain fell into the first of two severe recessions in the second half of 2008 after its real estate sector collapsed. It emerged from the second slump late 2013.

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