The economy grew by just over 1% in the first three months of the year, according to the Central Statistics Office.

Strong growth in exports made up for a decline in consumer spending when the Covid-19 restrictions were imposed in March.

While the eurozone economy as a whole shrank by almost 4% in the first three months of this year, the Irish economy still grew by 1.2% and by 4.6% compared to the same period a year ago.  

The main reason was an increase of almost €2 billion in the value of exports, particularly pharmaceuticals.

But the shadow of Covid-19 was felt, even though it only struck in the middle of March.

The contribution from transport and hotels was down 12.7%, while spending by consumers overall was down 4.7%.

The CSO also observed a marked increase in shopping online once the COVID restrictions were imposed.