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The Irish economy grew by 8.2% last year, latest figures show

The significant increase was driven by a 10% increase in the export of goods and services.

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IRELAND’S ECONOMY GREW 8.2% last year, according to newly released figures from the Central Statistics Officer (CSO).

Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a measure of the total output of the economy, stood at €324 billion for the year, according to the CSO. 

The country’s official GDP figures often treated with caution due to the effects of business flows and accounting practices of multinational firms based in here, however. 

Gross National Product (GNP) grew by 6.5% last year after profits from Irish-based multinationals were excluded, the new figures show. 

This figure revision testifies “to the ongoing difficulty in capturing the complexity of multinational activities in a manner that adequately represents their linkages to the rest of the economy,” KBC Bank has said, commenting on today’s figures.

The CSO has said the significant increase was driven by a 10% increase in the export of goods and services.

Meanwhile, personal consumption of goods and services, a key measure of domestic economic activity, grew by 3.4% in 2018.

The size of the Irish economy was measured at €324 billion last year using GDP.

Using GNI – measure intended to strip out the retained earnings of international firms headquartered in Dublin – the economy stood at €197 billion.

Preliminary first quarter results for 2019 show a 2.4%t increase in GDP compared with the last quarter of 2018 with GNP up 2.1%. 

This rise was also driven by exports and domestic consumption, according to the CSO.

The prospect of Brexit has left some Irish companies fearing the consequences in case of trade disruption with Britain, however. 

“While slowing global growth and particular risks around Brexit and global trade developments are likely to constrain Irish economic growth as 2019 progresses, this stronger starting point suggests we feel we need to upgrade our full year forecast for GDP growth from 3.5% to 5%,” KBC has said. 

“The faster growth dynamic of recent years revealed in today’s data might hint that the ‘safe speed limit’ for Irish economic growth may be somewhat higher than previously thought.”

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