Thursday, Ireland's Central Statistical Office said in a report that the gross domestic product or GDP at constant prices dropped 7.1% sequentially in the fourth quarter, in contrast to a 1.1% rise recorded in the previous quarter. A year ago, the GDP was up 0.5%.

Year-on-year, the GDP at constant prices declined 7.5% in the fourth quarter, compared to a 0.3% increase in the preceding quarter.

Meanwhile, the gross national product or GNP dropped 6.7% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, and it was down 2.2% sequentially.

In 2008, the GDP decreased 2.3% from the previous year, while GNP fell 3.1%.

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