GNP down 1.5% in first quarter of year: CSO

CSO figures this morning show that Gross National Product decreased by 1.5% in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year.

Capital investment, meanwhile, was more than 18% lower than in the same period last year.

The decline in house-building was the biggest factor in the decrease, with construction sector output down more than 16%.

Consumer spending, however, was up 3.5% in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank says demand for private sector credit is continuing to slow, with the annual rate of increase declining from 15.9% in April to 15.1% in May. This is the slowest rate of increase since late 2003.

The growth in mortgage lending is down to its lowest rate for 16 years.

The annual rate of increase last month was 11.1%, the lowest since January 1992.


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