CSO reports biggest-ever fall in economic activity

Economic activity in Ireland slumped by a massive 7.5% in the last three months of 2008 - the biggest quarterly drop on record.

The latest National Accounts from the Central Statistics Office also showed that consumer spending was down 4%, while capital investment was more than 30% lower and industrial output was down 12.5%.

Exports and imports have also been badly affected by the recession.

For the year as a whole, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell 2.3% in volume terms while Gross National Product (GNP) fell 3.1% (the profits of foreign-owned enterprises are excluded from GNP).

Capital investment, in constant prices, in quarter four of 2008 was 30.6% lower than in the fourth quarter of 2007.

The volume of industrial output (including construction) decreased by 12.5% in quarter 4 of 2008 compared with the same period of the previous year.

Within this, the output of the Construction sector fell by 24% during this period.

Output of distribution, transport and communications was down 8.3% while output of other services was 2.2% lower.

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