The country’s gross domestic product rose by 0.4 per cent between April and June, having contracted in the second half of last year and the opening months of 2013. Exports rose, but domestic demand continued to decline.
Blerina Uruçi, an analyst at Barclays, said: “Although the return to expansion is a positive for the economy, the pace of growth is not spectacular and highlights the challenges ahead.”
The figures come ahead of next month’s budget, with the Labour party – the junior coalition partner – arguing for a reduction in the pace of austerity, while senior partner Fine Gael wants to continue paying down its debts. Uruçi added: “The main milestones for Ireland this year will be the approval of the 2014 budget due in mid October and its exit from the International Monetary Fund-European Commission-European Central Bank ‘Troika’ programme at the end of the year. Budget negotiations have proven challenging.”