World Economy

Irish GDP Surges Ahead

Irish GDP Surges AheadIrish GDP Surges Ahead

Irish gross domestic product growth sped up in the three months to the end of September, expanding by 4% quarter-on-quarter to stand 6.9% higher than it was a year ago, data showed on Friday.

Ireland’s economic growth rate is forecast to be the highest in the European Union for a third successive year in 2016, but data were mixed in the three months after Britain voted in June to leave the European Union, a major risk to neighboring Ireland’s economy. BusinessWorld reported.

The quarterly jump, which followed a weaker-than-expected start to the year for GDP, was driven by a 0.7% quarterly rise in personal consumption and a 1.7% rise in exports. Imports fell 8.6% on the quarter.

The relevance of using GDP to measure the true health of the Ireland’s open economy was called into question in July when growth for 2015 was revised up to 26% after a massive revision to the stock of capital assets.

Many economists prefer to use employment as a gauge of how the economy is faring and it continues to grow strongly. The jobless rate fell to 7.3% last month, even as consumer sentiment weakened and robust retail sales growth slowed down.

Before last year’s revisions, Irish economic growth had still significantly outpaced the rest of Europe since its completion of an international bailout in 2013. It will do so again if the government meets its forecast for expansion of 4.2%.

“The government looks on target for its forecasts, the figures are stronger than expected. Consumer spending is holding up well, at this stage there is no sign of a major Brexit hit,” said Alan McQuaid, chief economist at Merrion Stockbrokers.


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