Irish economy grew by just under 1pc last year marking two years of growth – CSO
THE Irish economy grew by just under 1pc last year, marking two years of growth, official figures have revealed.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said the value of all goods and services, including the multinational sector, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.9pc.
Officials said 2012 was the second year in succession that GDP outperformed the previous year following three years of recession from 2008 to 2010.
The homegrown business sector also had a successful year overall, with gross national product up 3.4pc over the course of last year.
The CSO study put the return to growth in the Irish economy down to significant gains in distribution, transport, software and communications.
There was also a small increase in the industrial sector but a large proportion of the overall growth was offset by huge 10pc falls in the value of agriculture, forestry and fisheries while public administration and defence decreased by 4.2pc last year.
Despite the fact that growth was flat in the second half of the year, official figures are likely to provide some welcome news for the Government as they are slightly ahead of the Central Bank forecasts of 0.7pc growth for 2012 issued in January.
The Bank's outlook estimates growth of 1.3pc this year and 2.5pc next year.
Earlier this month, Finance Minister Michael Noonan noted that the country was entering another year of growth while the deficit is on a downward trajectory as we re-enter the bond markets to borrow money.
A spokesperson for the Department of Finance said the figures are in line with its forecast and confirm that the domestic economy stabilised in the second half of last year.