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Exports held economy up during first quarter
Pic: RollingNews.ie

05 Jun 2020 / ireland Print

Exports held economy up during first quarter

Official figures show that the Irish economy grew in the first three months of the year, mainly due to international activity, as COVID-19 restrictions began to hit the domestic economy towards the end of the period.

Separate figures on the labour market from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) also show that more than 1.1 million people were still relying on some kind of State support during May.

Trade

The CSO said economic output, measured by gross domestic product (GDP), rose by 1.2% during the first quarter of 2020, due to a bigger contribution from trade, as exports increased and imports dropped.

But personal spending fell by 4.7% compared with the previous quarter.

The CSO also said that its Modified Domestic Demand (MDD) measure, which strips out the impact of certain multinational activities and is seen as a better indicator of demand in the domestic economy, fell by 1.6 %.

Varied

The statistics body said the impact of pandemic restrictions in March varied across the economy. While there was strong growth in the industrial and technology sectors, the category covering distribution, transport, hotels and restaurants recorded a 12.7% dip in output, while construction fell by 1.6%.

Separate CSO figures showed that there were 226,400 people on the Live Register in May, up 8,900 from April.

Supports

A total of 543,164 were receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment in May, down almost 59,000 from April as restrictions began to ease.

But the number of people benefiting from the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) was little changed at 436,344.

Overall, the CSO calculates that 1,140,579 people were benefiting from income supports in May, a drop of 36,830 from April.

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