MADRID, Spain (AP) _ Spain's economy grew at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the first quarter as domestic demand remained robust.

The National Statistics Institute said Wednesday the rise in gross domestic product was up from 3.6 percent in the same period of 1999 and 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter.

Spain's healthy economic picture stems in large part from domestic consumption that rose 4.3 percent, compared to 4.2 percent in the previous three months, the institute said.

But Spanish exports also shot up, growing at an annual rate of 14.5 percent comoared with 13.1 percent in the fourth quarter. The institute attributed this mainly to a rise in tourism, a seasonal effect.