Belfast Telegraph

Irish economy grows 5.8% in second quarter

The Irish economy grew by almost 6% in the second quarter of this year, new statistics have shown.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said the country is on target for gross domestic product growth of 4.3% in 2017.

"On the basis of today's data, there will be no significant change to the GDP forecast this year," said Mr Donohoe.

He added: "Today's data provides clear evidence of continued momentum in the economy this year.

"Importantly, the growth in the economy is broadly balanced, with positive underlying contributions from both the domestic and external sectors."

According to the Quarterly National Accounts figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released on Friday, the economy grew by 5.8% in the second quarter of this year compared to the same time last year.

Overall economic output or GDP rose by 1.4% between April and June compared to the first quarter.

Apart from small contractions in the construction and real estate sectors, all other sectors of the economy experienced some growth.

The largest growth - 15.9% - was in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry.

The figures also show that GNP, which factors out profits from multinationals, fell by 4.6% in the second quarter.

In addition, consumer spending - which the CSO noted is "an important measure of economic activity" - fell by 1.1% in the three-month period.

Mr Donohoe said the strength of the domestic economy is also reflected in strong employment growth as well as tax receipts to the end of August which increased by almost 5% compared to the same period last year.

However, he warned that the Government cannot be complacent.

"Despite the positive developments highlighted in these figures we must not be complacent.

"In particular, the recent appreciation of the euro emphasises the need to continue to improve our competitiveness, including by focusing on costs we can control, by boosting our productivity and ensuring sustainable public finances.

"That is what the Government will continue to do," he said.

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