The Irish economy, measured by GDP, grew by 1.6% in the second quarter of the year, according to the Quarterly National Accounts published this morning.

Using GNP, which strips out foreign multinationals, the economy grew by 1.1%.

The figures indicate a stabilisation of domestic demand as well as continuing export growth in the period April to June.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, consumer spending increased by 0.3% compared with the first three months of this year, while investment rose by 6.4%. Government spending dropped by 0.8%.

The CSO figures show that GDP grew at an annual rate of 2.3% in the second quarter, the strongest growth since the last quarter of 2007, while GNP rose by 1.1%.

Net exports grew by €1.9bn, since the second quarter in 2010, while domestic demand declined by €714m over the same period.

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and industry (excluding building and construction) were the only sectors to grow, according to the figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The decline of the 'Other Services' sector moderated in Q2, compared with earlier quarters, the CSO said.

Meanwhile, former EU Commissioner Peter Sutherland has called on the Government to raise more money than planned in December's Budget.

Mr Sutherland said Ireland's deficit was the highest in the EU.

"We must deliver a budget deficit reduction of €3.6bn at the very least and preferably more," he told the Institute of International and European Affairs.

He added it was now clear the Maastricht Treaty failed to protect the currency because it did not go far enough.