Ireland's recovery slower that expected
The Irish economy dipped into a state of recession during the last quarter of 2012 and proceeded to contract until early this year, according to the new and revised figures posted on Thursday. This came as the economy is due to exit its bailout program from the European Union International Monetary Fund.
The country's gross domestic product shrank by 0.6% during the first quarter of this year. This decline of the Irish GDP came as a surprise when analysts expected the economy to rise by at least 0.3 percent. This leads to a conclusion that the country is having trouble recovering from the financial crisis.
New data suggests that late last year's 0.2% contraction extended the country's quarterly contraction.
Government officials explained that they are targeting a growth of 1.3% this year. Finance Minister Michael Noonan said that he is not aiming for any number in particular, and that the public finances division is recovering much more smoothly.
"They're certainly disappointing but it's one set of statistics," the minister said.
"We built the budget on 1.3 (percent growth) and the tax flows for the first half of the year are consistent with our budgetary targeting. We'll be slightly ahead of target, we think, for June," he added.