The Spanish economy grew more than expected in the first quarter due to higher exports and business investment, official data showed Tuesday.

The eurozone's fourth biggest economy expanded by 0.7 percent between January and March compared to the previous quarter, according to preliminary figures from national statistics institute INE, matching the revised 0.7 percent growth seen in the final three months of 2023.

The Bank of Spain had forecast the economy would expand by 0.4 percent in the first quarter.

Growth was driven by a 2.4 percent rise in exports during the first quarter and higher business investment, which rose by 2.6 percent after having dropped by 1.6 percent in the previous three months.

Household spending also helped, rising 0.3 percent, the same rate as in the previous quarter.

Economy Minister Carlos Cuerpo said the latest GDP figures demonstrates "the strong dynamism of the economy".

The Spanish government predicts the economy will expand by 2.0 percent this year after expanding by 2.5 percent in 2023, making it one of the few bright spots of the eurozone economy.

The Bank of Spain last month raised its growth forecasts for the economy this year to 1.9 percent, up from 1.6 percent previously.

It said lower energy prices and the extension of some government measures such as discounts on urban travel to help households cope with inflation would help lift growth.