By Marcus Leach

There was good news on Thursday for the Irish economy, as figures released showed a 1.3% growth for the first three months of the year.

This comes on the back of a 1.4% contraction in the economy at the end of 2010, with the return to growth attributed to net exports, up 20.6% on the same period last year.

However, the Irish Republic's statistics office said it was not all good news, with domestic demand down by 3/1%, and the construction sector still languishing - a 19% drop on the same time last year cause for concern.

"We always said that the initial growth would be export-led and that's happening now," Finance Minister Michael Noonan said.

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