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Irish economy is fastest growing in EU

Published 10/12/2015

Consumer spending is up 3.6% on the same time last year, a sign of growing confidence
Consumer spending is up 3.6% on the same time last year, a sign of growing confidence

Ireland's economy is continuing to punch in the fastest growth rates in the Europe Union.

The value of goods and services grew by 7% over the last year, making the Republic the best performing country in the bloc - seven years after collapsing in a devastating recession.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the report shows the recovery is broadly based.

"Today's figures are once again very strong and provide further confirmation that economic recovery is now firmly embedded," he said.

Official figures from the Central Statistics Office show Gross Domestic Product rose by 1.4% from July to September, taking the growth rate for the year to date, and also for the last 12 months, to 7%.

It also recorded growth of 5.6% for Irish-owned businesses and calculated using Gross National Product.

Mr Noonan cautioned that more work is needed to cement the recovery.

"Strong economic growth has resulted in job creation and a sharp fall in unemployment, which has declined by over six percentage points since its peak to 8.9% at present," he said.

"The Government has laid the foundations for this economic recovery. But there is more to be done. The Government will continue to work so that the benefits of economic recovery are widely distributed and that the unemployment rate is reduced further."

Mr Noonan also heralded the improvements in the economy across the board with consumer spending now building, reflecting more confidence, while exports are up 12%.

Consumer spending is up 3.6% on the same time last year, while building and construction has increased 3.5%.

"These data are mirrored in strong employment growth and tax receipts in the third quarter; moreover, tax receipts have continued to perform strongly during the final quarter," the minister said.

The figures are outstripping Government forecasts released with Budget 2016 of GDP growth of 6.2% this year and 4.3% next year.

The economic report comes on the back of a huge swell in the corporation tax take and the fall in unemployment to levels not seen since late 2008 and down from a peak of 15%.

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