October is shaping up in Spain's history as the month when the country finally requested a bailout from international lenders during the euro zone crisis, according to analysts and economists.
The debate in the markets seems to have moved inexorably on from if Spain will ask for a bailout or not to when it does. It was only two months ago that Jim O'Neill, the chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and one of the world's most listened-to economists, pointed out that Spain may not need a full bailout.
Since then, events in Spain itself and the euro zone seem to have spurred the timeline on, and several well-respected analysts and economists are now forecasting that the formal request will come this month. A bailout is now "the only missing piece of the jigsaw," Lloyds analysts said on Tuesday.
Spain has already announced an austerity-focused budget, unveiled an audit of its banks and said that it will request aid for these banks from the European Central Bank (ECB).
Economists at HSBC are among those arguing that October will be the month Spain concedes it needs a bailout - which would mean that it could be eligible for the ECB's bond-buying program known as Outright Monetary Transactions (OMTs).
(Read More: Is ECB Bond-Buying The Work of the Devil?)
"While expectations of a soft bailout for Spain helped calm market sentiment, the real side of the economy continues to deteriorate," they wrote in a research note.
"This only means that there is more pain to come next year."
There are several key meetings in October where Spain's troubles are on the agenda, that might herald the final announcement of a bailout. These include the finance ministers' meeting of October 8, and, what market sources tell CNBC is more likely, the EU summit of October 18 and 19.
"Whether or not Spain asks this week or the week after, or the week after, what matters is that the market does anticipate that it will come," Jane Foley, senior currency strategist at Rabobank, told CNBC.
The economy is already feeling plenty of pain, as Tuesday's unemployment figures, which showed that 53 percent of Spain's young people are unemployed, demonstrated. While official figures do not reflect off-the-books work, which has often been cited as a problem in Spain, this still paints a picture of rising dependency on government handouts.
In 2013, Spain's economy is facing a double whammy of cuts to government spending via austerity plans and a downturn in the world trade cycle which may dampen the exports which have been a rare ray of sunshine for the Spanish economy this year, according to HSBC.
Spain is apparently ready to ask for a bailout, but euro zone paymaster Germany wants it to wait longer, according to a Reuters report late Monday.
"It might be a quite precarious game if Germany indeed wants to wait until all stars align perfectly. We would suggest that for the market, the earlier uncertainties are removed, the better ," analysts at RBC wrote in a research note.
Written by Catherine Boyle, CNBC. Twitter: @cboylecnbc.
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