Ireland's general government deficit amounted to 13.8% of GDP in the first three months of 2013.

In monetary terms, it stood at just over €5.8 billion.

That was almost €360 million greater than the corresponding figure for the first quarter of last year.

Government revenue for the period was €12.8 billion which was nearly a billion euro higher than the figure for the first quarter of 2012.

That was mainly accounted for by increased revenue from taxes and social contributions.

However expenditure in the first quarter amounted to €18.13 billion, representing an increase of €1.3 billion on the amount spent in the same quarter last year.

This was mainly due to increases in capital transfers and interest expenditure.