Irish economy grows 1.5%

<p>The Republic of Ireland’s economy has grown by 1.5 per cent in the second quarter of the year.</p>

The Republic of Ireland's economy has enjoyed a boost in growth during the second quarter of the year, according to new figures.

Official data has revealed the economy rose by 1.5 per cent in Q2 of 2014 and grew 7.7 per cent on the April-to-June period compared to 2013. The announcement has prompted the government to revise growth forecasts and it has maintained that there will be no new austerity measures introduced in the near future.

A survey by the Reuters news agency highlighted that the growth in the economy was slightly higher than economists had expected. The research showed that 0.5 per cent was the predicted level of growth but a 1.5 per cent increase shows further signs that Ireland is recovering from the tough economic conditions experienced during the recession.

Ireland, along with Greece, Spain and Portugal, suffered substantially during the 2008 financial crisis. The Emerald Isle experienced soaring levels of unemployment while its property bubble burst, leaving many companies on the brink of liquidation or having to restructure just to survive. However, the growth of the nation's economy highlights that it could be turning a corner.

Finance minister Michael Noonan described Ireland's economy as being in "a catch-up phase… after recession". He told reporters that the 7.7 per cent growth was the best performance the nation has recorded since the early 2000s and that it has outstripped the rest of the eurozone by a considerable distance.

Commenting on Ireland's growing economy, Austin Hughes, chief economist at KBC Bank Ireland, said: "At face value, the numbers suggest that the boom is back. It shows a clearly improving economy. It's very encouraging to see the improvement in consumption, in construction.

"So a domestic recovery is taking hold, if a lot less intense that the headline number would suggest."

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