Spain bad loan ratio tops 11 pct in May

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MADRID (AP) — The level of bad loans on Spanish banks' books has climbed to 11.2 percent in May from 10.9 percent the previous month in the latest sign of the country's severe economic problems.

Central bank data Thursday showed non-performing loans totaled 170.23 billion ($223.61 billion), €3.14 billion ($4.12 billion) more than in April. The total was 14.25 billion euros higher compared to May 2012.

The ratio has soared from 1 percent in 2007, the year before Spain's real estate collapsed triggering the country's economic crisis. Spain has been in recession for most of the past four years and now has 27. 2 percent unemployment.

The government claims its measures are beginning to pay off and the recession should end late this year but international bodies are less optimistic.

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