GDP fell 1 per cent in 2010


Irish Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell by 1 per cent last year, marking the third straight year of contraction in the economy.

Gross National Product, which excludes repatriated profits from international companies, fell by 2.1 per cent during the same period.

The figures follow respective falls in GDP and GNP in 2009 of 7.6 and 10.9 per cent.

The Central Statistics Office said GDP fell 1.6 per cent in the final quarter of the year as consumer spending, exports and investment all declined.

Consumer spending fell by 0.4 per cent on the quarter and investment was down 2.3 per cent. Exports fell by 1.4 per cent in the fourth quarter and imports were 0.1 per cent lower.

The CSO said net exports grew by 24.5 per cent, or €5.7 billion, last year but other areas shed some €7.9 billion.

Industry - excluding construction - grew by 13.2 per cent last year but that this was not enough to offset declines in other sectors of the economy.

Following a similar decline in 2009, building and construction activity fell by 31.8 per cent.

The agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector contracted by 6.4 per cent and activity in distribution, transport and communications was down 1.5 per cent.

Public administration, defence and other services activity experienced a year on year fall of 2.7 per cent.

Personal consumption, which accounts for nearly two thirds of domestic demand, fell by 1.2 per cent while Government expenditure was 2.2 per cent lower than in 2009.

The figures show an increase in the level of multi-national profits flowing out of the country but interest payments on Government debt also increased.