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Spain's public debt hits record 88 per cent of annual GDP at end of first quarter

MADRID – Spain’s central bank says the country’s public debt burden rose to a record 88.2 per cent of gross domestic product at the end of the first quarter.

The bank said Friday that Spain’s debt was 922.82 billion euros ($1.23 trillion) at the end of March, up 19.1 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

The government has said it expects its debt burden to rise to 90.5 per cent of GDP at the end of 2013 but it may have to revise the forecast.

Spain, with 27.2 per cent unemployment, has been in recession for most of the past four years as the economy struggles to emerge from the collapse of its once-booming real estate sector in 2008. In that year, public debt represented 39.5 per cent of GDP.