Economy contracts for third year
The Irish economy contracted by 1% last year, official figures have revealed.
The Central Statistics Office said it is the third year in a row that business has suffered a decline, but 2010 was not as bad as previous years.
The report said that industry, excluding the shattered construction sector, was the only growth area last year.
The 12-month review revealed an up-and-down year for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - the measure of the value of all goods and services made in Ireland, including the foreign-owned multinationals.
The CSO recorded strong growth in the first three months only to be hit by a fall and rise as the year went on, with a decline of 1.6% in the final quarter.
Homegrown business, as measured by Gross National Product (GNP), had another difficult year with its value shrinking by 2.1%.
However, the CSO report found Irish firms became stronger as the year wore on and in the last three months they saw the value of goods and services increase by 2%.
According to the CSO, GDP and GNP fell by 7.6% and 10.7% respectively in 2009.