Spain boosts 2014 GDP growth forecast to 1.2 pct from 0.7 pct

MADRID, April 30 Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:43am EDT

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MADRID, April 30 (Reuters) - Spain on Wednesday said its economy would grow by 1.2 percent in 2014, revising up a previous forecast for a growth of 0.7 percent, while this year's deficit would be cut to 5.5 percent of GDP and unemployment would fall to 24.9 percent by year-end.

Economy Ministry Luis de Guindos, speaking at a news conference after the weekly cabinet meeting, said Gross Domestic Product growth would accelerate over the next three years, with a projected a rate of 1.8 percent in 2015, 2.3 percent in 2016 and 3.0 percent in 2017.

Treasury Minister Cristobal Montoro said Spain's public deficit would be 5.5 percent in 2014, beating a Europe-agreed target of 5.8 percent, and debt would total 99.5 percent of GDP at year-end. (Reporting by Andres Gonzalez and Fiona Ortiz, writing by Julien Toyer; Editing by Paul Day)