Ireland fastest growing EU economy as GDP rises 4.8%
Ireland now officially has the fastest growing economy in Europe, according to the Central Statistics Office.
The economy, or GDP, grew by 4.8% last year, exports increased 10.5%, while domestic demand - a key driver of jobs growth - rose 3.5%.
Alan McQuaid, chief economist with Merrion, said the the early indications were that 2015 would be another very positive year, topping the euro zone GDP growth table again.
"Ireland has benefited from its close trading ties with the US and UK, two of the strongest performers on the world stage in the past twelve months," he said.
Mr McQuaid pointed out that competitiveness gains made against the rest of the euro zone in recent years may have helped and the sharp fall in the euro will be a huge plus for the economy.
"The most encouraging aspect is the pick-up in domestic demand, which augurs well for 2015. Taking all the relevant factors into consideration, it now looks like growth will be 4% plus again this year," he concluded.