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Ireland falls back into recession: Official data

Ireland, a bailed-out eurozone nation, has slumped back into recession for the first time since 2009, revised official data showed.



Dublin: Ireland, a bailed-out eurozone nation, has slumped back into recession for the first time since 2009, revised official data showed on Thursday.

The data also showed that the economy grew by far less than thought last year.

Output by the economy shrank by 1.0 per cent in the third quarter of 2012 and by 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter.

This contraction over the last half of last year meets the technical definition of a recession-two quarters running of falling output-according to figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

And the contraction continues.
Gross domestic product continued to sink by 0.6 per cent in the first quarter of this year, or January-March period, compared with output in the previous three months.

In the first three months of the year, personal expenditure by the Irish people sank by 3.0 per cent-marking the biggest fall for four years.

Capital investment tumbled 7.4 per cent while net exports decreased by 1.021 billion euros over the same three-month period.

The CSO added that the Irish economy grew by just 0.2 per cent last year, which marked a sharp downgrade from the previous estimate of 0.9-per cent expansion.

On a more upbeat note, the CSO added that gross national product-a measure which strips out earnings of multinational companies-grew by 2.9 per cent in the first quarter.
Ireland was rescued by an 85-billion-euro (USD 111 billion) bailout from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union in late 2010.

Ireland, once known as the `Celtic Tiger` economy for its double-digit growth spanning a decade from the mid-1990s, has seen its output contract sharply in recent years, hit by soaring government debt, a property market meltdown, the global banking crisis and surging unemployment.

AFP

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