Economy set to grow by 3.1pc this year as recovery broadens
Ulster Bank has rowed in behind other predictions that Ireland's economy is on track to grow by over 3pc this year.
Releasing its forecast this morning, Ulster Bank said it expects the country's gross domestic product (GDP) to rise by 3.1pc in 2014 as the recovery becomes "more broadly based".
It said that this year will mark the first since 2007 that exports, consumer spending, and investment will all be growing together.
The bank said that's an important sign that Ireland's economic recovery is looking "more sustainable".
Ulster Bank had previously predicted that Ireland's GDP would grow by 2pc this year.
Its revised prediction puts it on the same page as other forecasts released this month. It's also expecting the economy to grow by 3.2pc in 2015.
Davy Stockbrokers said earlier in August that it expects the country's economy to grow by 3.5pc this year, up from its previous forecast of 2.5pc. It also said that gross national product (GNP) would grow by 2.8pc this year and 2.3pc in 2015.
In July, the Central Bank also upped its economic forecasts. It reckons that GDP will grow by 2.5pc this year and by 3.3pc in 2015.
"The main driver of the stronger near-term outlook is a much improved export performance, aided by the combination of improved growth momentum in Ireland's main trading partners (especially the UK and US), and better trends in the pharma-chem sector as the drag from the patent cliff seems to have eased," said Ulster Bank in its report issued this morning.
In June this year, the value of Irish exports increased by €439m, or 6pc, to €7.8bn, compared to June 2013.
"While high private and public sector debt levels imply some lingering downside risk to Irish growth prospects over the medium term, the near-term risk skew looks more balanced," according to Ulster Bank.