7.8% growth: Ireland fastest growing economy in EU for fourth year in a row

The Irish economy grew by 7.8% of GDP in 2017, according to estimates from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO), making it the European Union’s fastest-growing economy for the fourth year in a row.

Measured by GNP, the economy grew by 6.6%.

Modified Domestic Demand, a new measure used to remove the distorting effects of foreign multinational companies in Ireland, showed growth of 3.9%, demonstrating the continuing strength of Irish companies.

Industrial output grew by 8.9%, with the ICT sector particularly strong at 16.8%.

Personal Consumption Expenditure grew by 1.9%, which is regarded as an important barometer of the strength of the domestic economy. Consumer spending on goods increased by 4.6%.

Ireland’s balance of payments recorded a surplus of €37.1 billion, or 12.5%, of GDP, which compares to a surplus of €9.1 billion in 2016.

The CSO’s Labour Force Survey, published in March, showed that employment rose by 3.1% in Ireland in the fourth quarter of 2017, with the total figure of 2,231,000 just slightly below the 2007 peak. The figure is considered important as analysts believe employment to be the clearest gauge of Irish growth.

The latest findings from the State of European Tech 2017 report showed that Ireland has the fastest-growing tech worker population in Europe.

In 2017, Eurostat research found that Ireland has the highest proportion of high-growth enterprises in the EU, ahead of the UK, Portugal, Hungary and Bulgaria.

Earlier this year, Ireland moved up three places in the Bloomberg Innovation Index 2018, a list of the world’s most innovative countries.

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