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MADRID (AP) — Spain’s economic minister says the economy is doing better than the government expected as it continues to rebound strongly from recession.

Minister Luis de Guindos tells Spanish newspaper ABC that he expects Spain’s economy to expand 3.2 percent this year. Last month Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy revised his country’s economic growth forecast for this year upward to 3 percent from 2.7 percent.

De Guindos says “it will be very difficult for us not to reach the government forecast of 3 percent and it is perfectly reasonable for growth to surpass the 3.2 percent of 2016.”

Spain emerged from recession in late 2013 and is now one of the European Union’s fastest-growing economies. It still has problems with a 19 percent unemployment rate, however, the EU’s second-highest after Greece.