World Economy

Irish CB Raises Growth Forecast

Irish CB Raises Growth ForecastIrish CB Raises Growth Forecast

Ireland’s central bank on Friday raised its 2017 economic growth forecast sharply to 4.5% from 3.5% three months ago, citing stronger momentum at home and improved trading abroad, particularly in European markets.

Ireland’s economy has been the best-performing in the European Union since 2014, but until April the central bank had spent a year nudging down its growth expectations, anticipating a blow from neighboring Britain’s vote to leave the EU, Business World reported.

It said on Friday that risks remained to the downside but, in the absence of an immediate Brexit hit, it was also marking up its gross domestic product forecast for 2018 to 3.6% from 3.2% previously.

That put the central bank broadly in line with the finance ministry, which forecast in April that GDP would grow by 4.3% this year and 3.7% next year.

“Revised projections for growth this year and in 2018 reflect both stronger momentum in the domestic economy and improved prospects for external demand, especially from our European trading partners,” Central Bank Chief Economist Gabriel Fagan said in a statement.

“As a small and open economy, Ireland continues to face economic risks externally. And despite there being little new information emerging to date, it is clear that the economic impact of Brexit on Ireland is set to be negative and material. At home, we must continue to prudently monitor the risk of overheating.”

Data released earlier this month showed Ireland’s GDP actually contracted in the first quarter, but the figures were distorted by activity by the large number of multinationals present in Ireland. Indicators of domestic demand suggested the underlying health of the economy remained strong.


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