The Spanish economy is set to shrink by 3.6 per cent in 2009, two percentage points more than previously forecast, according to the latest figures revealed by the government Friday.

Spain’s unemployment rate, currently officially at 17.4% (although several facts discredit this figure), is forecast to go up to 17.9% by the end of the year and up to 18.9% by 2010.

The country’s public deficit is expected to soar to 7.9 per cent of GDP by 2010, more than double the 3 per cent limit imposed by the European Union.