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Ireland's economy grew 'spectacularly' this year

Ibec believes the economy grew by 5.7%.

File photo of you, probably.
File photo of you, probably.
Image: Shutterstock/Peter Bernik

Updated 10.37pm

IBEC HAS UPGRADED its 2014 growth forecast for the Irish economy, calling it a ‘spectacular’ year.

This growth was to the tune of 5.7%, according to the employers group’s Q4 Economic Outlook.

Ibec forecasts GNP to rise by 4.2% in 2015.

“Ireland is well placed to continue growing strongly next year,” Ibec’s chief economist Fergal O’Brien said, “Unemployment looks set to fall to 10.5% this year and we predict a further drop to below 9% next year.”

These positive trends look set to continue over the coming months as low inflation supports consumer purchasing power. Record low interest rates should further boost investment.

“Growth is coming from a broad range of sources, with domestic demand and trade contributing strongly. Ireland is set to be one of the world’s best performing developed economies this year.”

Key factors include a weak euro and a rise in demand for Irish exports, positive FDI forecasts, rising employment, and the Exchequer coming in ahead of target.

Low oil prices also benefited Ireland, with Ibec estimating that for every $10 fall, there’s an additional €100 million in spending power.

Gloomy consumer confidence figures for Q3 haven’t put Ibec off from predicting spending growth of 2.7% next year.

The condition of world economy has been cited by others as cause for concern in future.

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A weak ruble looks set to affect Russia for as long as two years, potentially dragging down other economies.

Growth figures have been less than optimistic in the Eurozone, with France continuing to live up to its reputation as the new ‘sick man of Europe’.

The Economist has even suggested there will be a triple-dip recession.

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Nicky Ryan

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