September 23, 2010 / 11:02 AM / 8 years ago

RPT-Surging Irish imports depressed Q2 GDP -fin ministry

(Refiles to add dropped word in headline)

DUBLIN, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Ireland’s gross domestic product fell in the second quarter because of a surge in imports but gross national product, while also down, showed signs of stabilisation, the finance ministry said on Thursday.

Data released earlier on Thursday showed GDP fell 1.2 percent in the second quarter from the first, confounding expectations for a rise and raising the stakes for a government battling to reassure investors about the Irish economy.

“The figures for exports are strong and I am encouraged by this — the necessary competitiveness improvements are working,” Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said in a statement.

“We must export our way out of our current difficulties, there is simply no other way.”

Reporting by Andras Gergely; Editing by John Stonestreet

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