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Ireland becomes first EU member to fall into recession

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The Republic of Ireland has officially fallen into a recession, according to data released yesterday, making it the first Eurozone member to topple following the US sub-prime loan crisis.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office have shown that Ireland’s economy shrank by 0.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2008 after a 1 per cent drop in the first quarter.

The news does not bode well for the UK and its European neighbours, who are teetering on the edge of recession.

Ireland was once referred to as the 'Celtic Tiger' and enjoyed a lengthy boom period in the mid-to-late 1990s. However, it has been unable to recover from a crash in its domestic property market and its construction market has already fallen by 12.2 per cent, causing the nation to fall into its first recession in 25 years.

A Dáil Éireann spokesman added: ‘Other factors [affecting the economy] include higher commodity prices, weak demand in our major trading partners and adverse exchange rate movements.’

The announcement follows the AJ’s report that the RIAI president Sean O’Laoire is telling Irish architecture graduates that they are likely to face a ‘job famine’.

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