MADRID (AP) -- The bad loan rate for Spanish banks has reached a record of 11.97 percent as the recession forces more companies and individuals to dodge repayments.
Central bank data released Wednesday shows non-performing loans totaled 178.7 billion euros ($238.6 billion) in July, up from 176.4 billion euros in June when the rate was 11.6 percent.
It was the fifth consecutive monthly increase.
The ratio has soared from 1 percent in 2007, a year before Spain's property market collapsed. Spain has been in recession for most of the past four years and has a 26.3 percent unemployment rate.
The government says its reforms are producing results and predicts the recession will end this year but international experts are less optimistic.