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Spanish factory output expands in Feb for first time since June 2022 -PMI

Nissan Motor staff work in a manufacturing chain at the Zona Franca Nissan factory near Barcelona

MADRID (Reuters) - Factory activity in Spain expanded in February for the first time since June as demand started to improve, boosting confidence about the business outlook, a survey showed on Wednesday.

S&P Global's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for Spanish manufacturing rose to 50.7 in February, from 48.4 in January, above the 50.0 mark that separates growth from contraction for the first time since it stood at 52.6 in June last year.

Confidence about the future among business people surveyed was at its highest level since April 2022, S&P Global said.

Spanish economic growth is expected to slow this year. The government has forecast 2.1% growth in 2023, down from 5.5% in 2022, while many analysts expect growth to be even slower.

The weak spot in the survey was inflationary pressure, which remained "stubborn", according to S&P Global.

"Despite remaining significantly softer than rates seen over much of the past two-and-a-half years, the paces of input cost and output charge inflation strengthened on the month," it said.

Spain's headline 12-month inflation rate, which had been falling since peaking in July, rose to 6.1% in February.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Susan Fenton)