Spaniards slip down EU wealth table as crisis undoes progress

Household spending power plunges to levels last seen almost a decade ago

The economic crisis in Spain has unraveled much of the progress the country's households had made in approaching the wealth levels of their richer European neighbors.

According to figures released Tuesday by the European statistics office, Spain's GDP per capita has dropped from 105 percent of the average in the European Union in 2007 - before the crisis broke - to 100 percent last year. That compares with 128 percent for Ireland, one of the recipients of a bailout from the EU and the IMF, a fate Spain is desperate to avoid. It also puts it just ahead of Cyprus, whose GDP per capita is 99 percent of the average. Wealth levels in the euro zone as a whole were 108 percent the EU average last year.

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In terms of Actual Individual Consumption per capita, an alternative measures that reflects better the wealth of households, at five percentage points below the EU average and 12 points below that of the euro zone, Spain is at a level last seen in 2002.

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