MADRID, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- After two years of far-reaching economic reform and restructuring, the economies of Spain and Portugal end 2013 in a situation which some consider to be the end of the economic crisis.
There is hope that 2014 can bring economic growth accompanied by a slight fall in unemployment and a gradual recovery of confidence from the markets.
Experts from the Troika (the European Commission, European Central Bank and the IMF) after evaluating both countries in December concluded that Spain would not need further help after using 41.3 billion euros (56.8 billion U.S. dollars) of the 100 billion made available by the European Union in July 2012 to recapitalize and restructure its banking system.
Spain's bailout will officially end in January 2014, although the Spanish banking sector is still considered to be fragile.
Dec. 4 saw the debt qualification agency Moody's joined the other agencies, Fitch and Standard & Poor's in revising its perspective on Spain's sovereign debt from negative to stable citing fiscal consolidation and reforms carried out by the government in the labor market, pension system and financial sector.
With the risk premium down to around 240 points, the Spanish government will hopefully be able to save around 5 billion euros in borrowing costs for the present year.
Meanwhile Spain's economy grew by 0.1 percent in the third quarter of the year after 9 quarters of continued recession, according to the Bank of Spain, which has predicted growth of 0.2 percent for the last three months of the year. The unemployment rate stands at an unacceptable 26.7 percent though.
Portugal's GDP expanded by 0.2 percent in the third quarter of the year, showing continued growth after the country crawled out of recession in the second quarter.