MADRID (AP) -- Spain's National Statistics Office says the country's recession is worse than previously thought with the economy shrinking by 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the previous three-month period.
The figure released Thursday was higher than last month's preliminary estimate of a 0.7 percent contraction and is more than double the third quarter's 0.3 percent drop.
Spain's economy has been shrinking for the last 18 months with unemployment stands at 26 percent.
The statistics department also says economic activity was down 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter from the year-earlier period. For the whole of 2012, it shrank 1.4 percent.
The government predicts the economy will start to stabilize in the second half of this year and emerge from recession in 2014.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.