The pace of decline in the economy has eased slightly giving tentative signs of recovery, official figures revealed today.
The Quarterly National Accounts show Gross Domestic Product - the value of goods and services made within the borders of the country - up 0.3% in the three months to September compared with the previous quarter on the back of a large contribution from net exports.
But GNP, which excludes the profits of multinationals, continues to decline by 1.4%.
Economic output shrank 7.4% between July and September, compared with a 7.9% fall the previous three months.
There were also sharp drops in consumer spending, capital investment, construction work and industrial output.
The rate of economic decline has eased steadily since peaking at the start of the year.
Friends First economist Jim Power said the figures suggested positive signs but warned the country had a long way to go.
“Technically the fact that GDP increased between the second and third quarters would suggest that perhaps the recession is ending,” Mr Power said.
“However we need to read deeply into the numbers.
“The chemical and pharmaceutical sides of the economy are doing exceptionally well and that is pushing up the overall growth numbers.”
But Mr Power said levels of consumer spending, house building and the public finances suggest the country is not yet out of recession.