Posted February 07, 2018 09:20:08 The Irish economy slowed in the first quarter, as a sharp fall in the price of petrol caused an economic shock.
This was the first time in four years that the Irish economy grew in the fourth quarter of a year.
The Irish Central Bank said the GDP fell by 0.2 per cent in the three months to March 2018, down from 0.3 per cent a year earlier.
The figures also showed that the number of people unemployed in the country fell by 12,000 to 14,400.
Ireland’s economy was hit by a sharp decline in the cost of petrol, which dropped from €0.20 to €0, as petrol prices have been cut by around 30 per cent since last year.
Gasoline is now priced at about €1.30 a litre.
The number of Irish residents who were unemployed dropped by almost 40,000, or 2.3 percent.
This compares to 2.8 percent in the four years prior to the fall in unemployment.
The drop in unemployment is not the first significant downturn for Ireland.
The country’s economic performance has been the subject of much criticism.
In May 2017, the Irish Government imposed a ban on new businesses from opening for a week and a half.
The ban was lifted on Friday, but the economy still lagged behind its peers in other parts of Europe and the US.
Unemployment was high in Ireland before the ban.
Unemployment is the main reason why the Irish have seen a fall in GDP.
The unemployment rate is higher than the EU average of 7.2 percent.