DUBLIN: The economy grew by 7.8% of GDP last year, according to preliminary estimates from the Central Statistics Office, making it the European Union’s fastest-growing economy for the fourth year in a row.
Statistical issues aside, Mr Hughes said the reality is that the Irish economy has begun 2018 with a good deal more momentum than previously envisaged.
Merrion economist Alan McQuaid also said the latest GDP numbers are very positive, especially when one allows for the distortions of intellectual property on the economy.
The CSO said that Modified Domestic Demand – a new measure used in Ireland to remove the distorting effects of foreign multinational companies – showed growth of 3.9%.
Today’s figures show that Personal Consumption Expenditure grew by 1.9%. This is regarded as an important barometer of the performance of the domestic economy.
Consumer spending on goods increased by 4.6%, while spending on services was marginally negative at -0.1%. The CSO said that industrial output grew by 8.9%. In the ICT sector output increased by 16.8%, while financial and insurance output fell slightly, down by 0.7%.
Capital investment showed a drop of 22.3% last year, driven by a lower level of Intellectual Property imports when compared with the exceptionally high level of such imports in 2016.