Ireland's economy grew by an exceptional 7.7 per cent in the year to June as it apparently missed the news that the recovery was stalling on the continent.
Not only was it the fastest annual growth of any Eurozone member, but it had also the fastest quarterly growth at 1.5 per cent, according to the data released by Ireland’s Central Statistics Office yesterday.
The impressive figures were fuelled mostly by a 13 per cent surge in exports and a 18.5 per cent rise in investment.
Consumer spending is still weak as the hangover from the property crash lingers.
Irish GDP data has been erratic during the recession, but its growth rate looks consistent with the strength of surveys such as composite purchasing managers’ indexes, wide-ranging surveys of firms.
These suggest it is unlikely to be revised down or make a marked fall over the coming months.
“Ireland’s strong economic growth will allow it to continue to improve its fiscal position, a process which will be further helped by its early repayment of bailout loans to the IMF,” said Jonathan Loynes, economist at Capital Economics.
With unemployment at 11.2 per cent, well above its pre-crisis level of just over four per cent, the Irish economy still has some work to do but yesterday’s news will raise morale.