Thu, 02 Jul 2020

DUBLIN, Ireland June 5 (Xinhua) -- Ireland's gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to 87.6 billion euros (about $99 billion) in the first quarter of this year, up 4.6 percent when compared with the same period last year, according to the provisional figures released by the country's Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Friday.

Compared with the fourth quarter of last year, the country's GDP in the first quarter of this year grew by only 1.2 percent, indicating a slowdown in growth rate largely due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The impact of the COVID-19 restrictions varied across the sectors of the economy in Quarter 1, 2020," Jennifer Banim, an official with the CSO said Friday.

In the globalized sectors of the Irish economy, growth continued, with industry increasing by 15.4 percent on a quarterly basis, he said.

However, the sectors operating mainly in the domestic market have been impacted, he said, adding that the distribution, transport, hotels and restaurants sector in the country contracted by 12.7 percent in the first quarter of this year when compared with the previous quarter.

Local economists pointed out that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Irish economy had not been fully demonstrated in the first quarter of this year as the country's economy did not virtually come to a standstill until the end of March, when a nationwide lockdown was announced by the government to contain the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Earlier last month, Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe predicted that the Irish economy for this year will shrink by 10.5 percent due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

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