DUBLIN, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Ireland’s economy contracted by 1.9 percent in the third quarter, far worse than expected, as global economic turmoil dented exports raising doubts about its ability to meet its fiscal and debt targets under an EU-IMF bailout.
Analysts had been expecting a fall of 0.5 percent quarter-on-quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis. Ireland’s quarterly growth data is notoriously volatile due to the inclusion of the earnings of Irish-based multinationals.
Second quarter GDP growth was revised down to 1.4 percent from 1.6 percent previously.
Gross National Product (GNP), seen by some economists as a more accurate indicator of the state of the economy because it strips out the earnings of Irish-based multinationals, was also down 2.2 percent in July-September, disappointing expectations for a flat performance.
Ireland’s current account surplus came in at 850 million euros.