Spain's economy expanded 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2023 from the previous three-month period, outstripping analyst forecasts of 0.2% growth, preliminary data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed on Tuesday.

The country's economy grew by 2.5% in 2023 and was projected to be the fastest-growing major economy in the euro zone, INE said.

Economy Minister Carlos Cuerpo said that trend was expected to continue into 2024.

The fourth-quarter reading "provides a good starting point to meet our target of 2% growth in 2024," Cuerpo said in a recorded video message.

Fourth-quarter growth was up from a revised growth of 0.4% in the third quarter.

On an annual basis, Spain's fourth-quarter economic output expanded by 2%, beating the average estimate of 1.5% in the Reuters poll. (Reporting by Jakub Olesiuk and Charlie Devereux, editing by David Latona)