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(Adds details, inflation, retail sales)
MADRID, April 30 (Reuters) - Spain's economy grew faster than expected and at its strongest pace since the end of 2017 in the first quarter on a quarterly basis, preliminary data showed on Tuesday, boosted by domestic demand and slightly stronger exports.
Spanish gross domestic product expanded by 0.7 percent in the January to March period from a quarter earlier, above a Reuters forecast and the 0.6 percent recorded in the previous quarter, the National Statistics Institute said.
Year on year, Spanish gross domestic product rose 2.4 percent, the figures showed, also above a Reuters forecast of 2.3 percent and the largest rise since the third quarter of last year.
Spain's economy has consistently outperformed much of the European Union since it emerged from a five-year slump in 2013 though growth is expected to ease slightly this year as a weakening global economy weighs on exports.
Domestic demand contributed 2.2 percentage points to annual growth, while external demanded added a further 0.2 percentage points.
The preliminary figure also beat a Bank of Spain estimate, which saw growth of 0.6 percent. The central bank sees Spain's economy expanding by 2.2 percent year on year in 2019 after 2.6 percent last year.
Separately, Spanish retail sales expanded by 1.7 percent in March, the fastest pace since October, INE said on Tuesday.
Spanish European-Union adjusted consumer prices, meanwhile, rose 1.6 percent in April, INE said, lifted by a rise in package holiday costs after a price cut in the same month last year.
Spain is the first major euro zone economy to announce preliminary inflation figures for April, with German data later on Tuesday and region-wide numbers due on Friday, expected at 1.6 percent year on year. (Reporting by Luis Alexandre Moreira and Paul Day; Editing by Alison Williams)