Irish Economic Growth Slows to 5.3%

Down from 5.7% in 2006

In a new signal that the boom of the so-called "Irish tiger" economy has flagged, Ireland's economy slowed to a growth rate of 5.3% last year from 5.7% in 2006, official preliminary data showed on March 20.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said that gross national product, the more favored Irish growth measurement, grew by 4.5% last year. That was also a sharp slowdown from the 6.5% growth seen in 2006. GNP is regarded as a more accurate barometer of the country's economic performance as it strips out substantial repatriated foreign investment profits.

The CSO added that in the last quarter of 2007, GDP growth was 3.5% and GNP grew by 1.2%.

Consumer spending meanwhile grew by 5.4% last year compared with 2006. Capital investment was 0.2% higher in 2007 compared with a year earlier.

Net exports were 3.838 billion euros (US$6.023 billion) higher in 2007 compared with the previous year, the CSO added.

The volume of industrial output increased by 6.9% last year compared with 2006.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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