Irish economy bounces back strongly, up 7.7 pct

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland's battered economy bounced back strongly in the second quarter, growing 1.5 percent from the quarter before and a very strong 7.7 percent from a year earlier.

The figures were published Thursday by the country's national statistics office.

Exports and business investment contributed strongly to the increase in economic output. But consumer demand remained weak. Personal expenditure increased only 0.3 percent.

Ireland is continuing its recovery from the eurozone's crisis over high debt. In Ireland's case, a real estate boom collapsed, leaving banks saddled with bad debt. A government guarantee of bank finances made the government's own debt soar, and austerity policies of tax increases and spending weighed heavily on the economy.