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Social welfare queues break record highs

Ireland’s recession ends but unemployment soars

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Social welfare queues break record highs

The latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office show that Ireland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose by 2.7% in the first three months of this year.

The small growth in Ireland’s GDP may technically indicate an end to the recession but the number of people unemployed in Ireland increased from 439,100 in May to 444,900 in June.

Unemployment is up by 37,200 compared with this time last year. Unemployment now stands at 13.4%, compared to 12.9% in the first quarter of 2010.

Experts say that Ireland’s GDP rose due to a surge in exports and increased foreign investment in the region.

House prices are down by 50% from their peak in 2007 and continue to devalue. Real estate company Sherry Fitzgerald said that house prices in Dublin have dropped by over 50% while houses prices nationwide have dropped by 13% in the last year. Fortunately Sherry say that they are starting to see new signs of life in the property market.

Consumer confidence is completely shattered with credit card payments beating new spending by $70million.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan had predicted that Ireland’s GDP would increase this summer.

“Today’s figures also show that exports are performing strongly, while consumer spending has stabilised."

It is widely hoped amongst economists that Ireland’s GDP will grow by 3% in 2011.

Ulster Bank’s chief executive said that Ireland’s recovery depends on global stability.

"It will be critically important from an Irish perspective that a global double-dip is avoided if the domestic economy is to continue along the recovery path."

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