Grim data charts depth of recession
Published 04/08/2010 | 16:53
Personal spending fell 11.1pc last year while the Government tightened the purse strings and reduced its outgoings by 5.1pc, it was revealed.
The economy shrank 7.6pc with the construction sector among the worst hit by the recession as investment plummeted 37.9pc, according to new detailed figures from the Central Statistics Office.
Richard Bruton, Fine Gael's enterprise spokesman, said the figures confirmed the country had suffered the longest and deepest recession of any advanced economy in the world.
"Ignoring price changes, the size of the Irish economy in Gross Domestic Product terms fell by 16pc between 2007 and 2009," he said.
"This is five times worse than the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) average over this period and levels of domestic investment are now at levels last seen in 1997."
The CSO's National Income and Expenditure figures revealed Gross Domestic Product, the value of all goods and services in the economy, contracted by 7.6pc while Gross National Product was down a massive 10.7pc.
It said that personal spending was down 11.1pc and Government spending down 5.1pc. When price rises are discounted the figures change to 7pc and 4.4pc respectively.
Mr Bruton said the contraction has sparked a massive rise in unemployment with the number of people on the live register up by 97,000 in 2009 alone.
The Fine Gael TD said the Government did not have a plan to get people back to work.
"Despite all the evidence and the conclusions of the recent banking reports, some Government ministers continue to pretend that Ireland's problems were caused by outside forces, when the truth is that Ireland and its people have been the victims of catastrophic economic mismanagement," Mr Bruton said.