Spain's budget deficit for 2011 was 8.5% of GDP, worse than the government's 8% prediction, adding to pressure on lawmakers to enact additional austerity measures

MADRID , February 28, 2012 () – Spain says its budget deficit for 2011 has come in at 8.5 percent of GDP, even worse than the new conservative's own already pessimistic prediction.

The increase will likely ratchet up the pressure on the government to take enact more austerity measures to get the deficit down to the stated goal of 4.4 percent of GDP for this year, unless it gets some relief from the EU in the form of an easier 2012 target.

The previous Socialist government had said the deficit would come in at around 6 percent.

After taking power in December, the conservatives raised the forecast to about 8 percent.

The deficit includes revenue and spending by the central government and that of Spain's 17 regions.

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