Economy shrinks for third year in a row
The Irish economy contracted by 1pc last year, official figures have revealed.
The Central Statistics Office said it is the third year in a row that business has suffered a decline but 2010 was not as bad as previous years.
The report said that industry, excluding the shattered construction sector, was the only growth area last year.
The 12-month review revealed an up-and-down year for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - the measure of the value of all goods and services made in Ireland, including the foreign-owned multinationals.
The CSO recorded strong growth in the first three months only to be hit by a fall and rise as the year went on, with a decline of 1.6pc in the final quarter.
Homegrown business, as measured by Gross National Product (GNP), had another difficult year with its value shrinking by 2.1pc.
However, the CSO report found that Irish firms became stronger as the year wore on and in the last three months they saw the value of goods and services increase by 2pc.
According to the CSO, GDP and GNP fell by 7.6pc and 10.7pc respectively in 2009.