April 30, 2015 / 6:15 PM / 4 years ago

Spain sees sharp fall in unemployment as it hikes growth forecast

MADRID, April 30 (Reuters) - Spain on Thursday said its high unemployment rate should fall rapidly over the next three years to reach 15.6 percent in 2018 from 23.78 percent currently, as it hiked its economic growth forecast to 2.9 percent for 2015 and 2016.

The centre-right government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, which faces a general election later this year, had earlier predicted the economy would grow 2 percent in 2015.

It said the unemployment rate would fall to 22.1 percent in 2015, 19.8 percent in 2016 and 17.7 percent in 2017. (Reporting by Julien Toyer; Editing by Sarah White)

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