SIPTU has stated that the Quarterly National Accounts figures published today (Thursday, 19th September) confirm that the economy grew by a disappointing 0.4% between April and June this year and only serve to emphasise the need for a major economic stimulus. SIPTU economist, Marie Sherlock, said: “The economic growth in the second quarter, indicated by the new figures, must be welcomed. However, it falls far short of anything resembling a real recovery. With the very clear exception of exports which recorded the largest quarterly increase since 2008 and are now at an all time high, the latest statistics confirm that the Irish domestic economy remains in stagnation. “The second quarter performance fails to fully reverse the sharp decline in the first quarter of this year when we saw domestic consumption experience its single largest drop since early 2009. It is likely to be well into the autumn months before the fall in domestic consumption will be fully reversed and before the domestic economy will start expanding in net terms this year.” She added: “The figures clearly demonstrate the on-going fragility in the economy and cast a sharp spotlight on the need to strengthen and not further deflate economic activity in the forthcoming budget. The Government would do well to heed the Irish Congress of Trade Union's proposals which include implementing a fiscal consolidation of €2 billion, an investment stimulus of €4.5 billion over the next two years – financed in a manner that limits the cost to the taxpayer – and targeted tax increases for the highest earners.”