Irish economy grows by 0.9% in 2012

Ireland's bailed-out economy grew by 0.9 percent in 2012 but stagnated in the final quarter of last year, official data showed on Thursday.

"Preliminary estimates indicate that GDP (gross domestic product) in volume terms increased by 0.9 percent for the year 2012," said a statement from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

"This is the second year in succession in which GDP showed an increase over the previous year following three years of declines... during 2008 to 2010."

The annual figure was in-line with the eurozone country's own government forecast.

The Irish economy meanwhile recorded zero growth in the fourth quarter of last year, compared with the previous three months, according to the CSO.

It managed to grow by 1.4 percent in 2011 after it was rescued by an 85-billion-euro (109-billion-dollar) bailout from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union in late 2010.

Ireland, once known as the 'Celtic Tiger' economy for its double-digit growth spanning a decade from the mid-1990s, has contracted sharply in recent years, hit by soaring state debt, a property market meltdown, the global banking crisis and surging unemployment.