Belfast Telegraph

Republic of Ireland set to be Europe's fastest-growing economy in 2016

The Republic of Ireland's economy performed strongly in the months after the Brexit vote, official figures have revealed.

The Republic's Central Statistics Office (CSO), whose incredible growth figures earlier in the year were branded "leprechaun economics", showed the country is on course to have the fastest- growing economy in Europe this year.

The value of all business in the country, measured by gross domestic product, jumped by 4% in the three months to September, the CSO said.

Irish-owned enterprises enjoyed growth of 3.2%, suggesting there are little or no signs that the UK's decision to split from Europe has yet affected Irish trade.

The economic measurements used for the CSO's previous report in July were roundly criticised when the CSO and Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan noted a reported growth in the economy of more than 26%.

Economists warned that official reports on economic performance should look more closely at the number of people in work and how spending is changing.

The latest review by the CSO, covering July, August and September, showed personal consumption of goods and services increased by 0.7% while overall domestic demand

The current account surplus for the period was €10.1bn, up from €6.9bn at the same point last year.

Service exports grew by €3.5bn to €34.7bn driven largely by growth the export of computer and business services. Meanwhile service imports fell by €3.6bn, which the CSO said was due to a fall of imports in research and development services.

CSO assistant director general with responsibility for economic statistics Jennifer Banim said the results also showed growth in Ireland's gross national product (GNP).

"The three largest sectors of the economy experienced growth with industry increasing by 3.8pc in volume terms, distribution, transport, software and communications growing by 5.3pc and other services showing 1.5pc growth.

"The net liability to the rest of the world stood at €465bn at the end of September 2016, a decrease of €23.4bn on the end of June 2016 net liability position of €488.4bn," she said.