World Economy

Ireland to Top Eurozone Growth League Again

Ireland to Top Eurozone Growth League AgainIreland to Top Eurozone Growth League Again

The latest CSO figures show that the Irish economy continued to perform very strongly in the first quarter of 2015. GDP was up 1.4% in the quarter and 6.5% in the year, more than twice that of the latest figures from Spain, the next strongest Eurozone country.

Average GNP growth in 2014 is now put at 6.9% in real terms as against the previous estimate of 5.2%, Business World reported.

According to Merrion Stockbrokers, “The encouraging thing about the figures is that both exports and consumer spending performed well in the first quarter. Fixed investment was down in the quarter, but recent monthly data from the construction sector point to a rebound in building activity in the second quarter.

“It is quite clear from these latest figures that Ireland will easily top the Eurozone growth league table once again this year. Before the release we were forecasting real GDP growth in the 4-5% range for 2015.

“We would now say that growth is more likely to be in the 5-6% range and a positive boost for the government ahead of the general election. Looking at the second quarter, we are projecting real annual GDP growth of 5.5% with both exports and domestic demand making positive contributions.”

Meanwhile, the stock of bank lending in Ireland continues to contract according to new figures released by the Central Bank of Ireland. The figures show that the stock of household lending is down 2.8% on the year and corporate lending down 6.8%.

 According to the Davy Stockbrokers, “The on-going contraction in the stock of Irish bank lending may seem confusing with banks stepping up their new lending. However, it appears that as the economy has improved, helping incomes to pick up, both indebted households and corporates have increased the size of their repayments.”