A job-destroying recession kept a tight grip on Spain in the third quarter of 2012 when output shrank by an estimated 0.4 percent, the Bank of Spain said Tuesday.
If confirmed, the figures would mean that the Spanish recession, which has left one in four workers unemployed, is moving into a second year at a relentless pace.
The eurozone's fourth-largest economy, which had barely emerged from the last recession at the end of 2010, began gently shrinking in mid-2011 and has slumped in every quarter since by as much as 0.5 percent.
According to the Bank of Spain, available but as-yet incomplete data pointed to gross domestic product declining at a quarterly rate of 0.4 percent, the same pace as in the previous three months.
"The Spanish economy continued on a path of contraction which began a year earlier," the bank said in a monthly report.
People were losing jobs at the same pace, too, the bank said.
"It is estimated that employment contracted at a similar pace to the previous quarter at an annual rate of about 4.5 percent," the Bank of Spain said.