GDP growth of 4.8% makes Ireland fastest growing EU economy

The economy grew by 4.8% of GDP last year – the fastest growing economy in the European Union, according to preliminary figures from the Central Statistics Office.

GNP – which strips out the effect of multinational companies – grew by 5.2%.

Net exports grew by 10.5%, while domestic demand – a key driver of jobs growth – grew by 3.5%.

Unemployment rate drops to 10.1% in February

Ireland’s unemployment rate declined another 0.2% in February, to reach 10.1%, its lowest level since 2009 — the last time the percentage figure was in single digits.

Latest data, published yesterday by the CSO, showed that 4,300 people came off the Live Register last month and back into work, reducing the seasonally adjusted total still on the register to 355,600. The number of long-term unemployed fell from 164,844 in January …

Exchequer returns fuel hope of beating deficit targets

Latest exchequer returns have raised hopes Ireland may beat its 2.7% of GDP budget deficit target for 2015.

The Department of Finance yesterday reported the generation of nearly €6.74bn in tax revenue for the first two months of this year, almost 16% up on the same period last year and 5.4%/€345m ahead of forecasts made in the last budget.

The figures also mean that the exchequer deficit amounted to just …