Business

Irish Republic out of recession

Dublin's Ha'penny Bridge
Image caption Unemployment grew slightly in the Irish Republic in June

The Irish Republic officially moved out of recession in the first quarter of 2010, official figures show.

The country's gross domestic product grew by 2.7% during that period on the last three months of 2009.

But the Central Statistics Office said gross national product (GNP), seen by some economists as a more accurate barometer of the economy, fell by 0.5%.

Meanwhile, those claiming unemployment benefit rose by 5,800 in June on a seasonally adjusted basis to 444,900.

That meant June's estimated unemployment rate was 13.4%.

"Realistically, sustained growth is unlikely to take hold until late next year, with continued pressure both at home and abroad," said Melanie Bowler, of Moody's Economy in London.

"We're forecasting that the eurozone will slip back into recession later this year, early next year, which will clearly have implications for the Irish economy."

The return to growth marked the first rise in Irish GDP since the fourth quarter of 2007, bringing two years of recession to an end.

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