World Economy

Ireland Economy Fastest Growing in EU

Ireland Economy Fastest Growing in EUIreland Economy Fastest Growing in EU

Ireland’s economy has surged 7.7% in a year, according to official figures, Guardian reported.

A 1.5% increase in gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter pushed the annual growth rate of Ireland to the highest in the EU after a strong rise in business investment and exports. The government immediately upgraded its growth forecasts for the year – for the second time in a week.

The finance minister, Michael Noonan, said: “When you’re in the catchup phase of an economy after a recession you’ll get very high growth figures in the early stages, but as it settles I would hope we will have growth of around 3% for the next five years.”

Dublin said the news showed that the sacrifices of the Irish people, and policies designed to increase exports, had borne fruit. Ministers are already debating how to spend higher-than-forecast tax revenues, less than a year after the country finished its three-year EU-International Monetary Fund bailout program.

With the budget deficit predicted to fall to 4% of GDP or below this year – well ahead of target – the government has said it will ease up significantly on further austerity measures in next month’s budget. Ireland still has huge debts following the bailout of its banking sector, and thousands of families remain in negative equity despite a resurgence in house prices that has seen values in Dublin jump 23% in the past year.

GDP grew 2.8% in the first three months of this year. The rise in the second quarter was driven by a 13% increase in exports and 1.8% rise in household spending, the largest annual rise in almost four years.