Monday 23 April 2018

We top EU table for industrial growth during September

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

INDUSTRIAL production in Ireland grew at a faster pace than in any other European country in September, new data shows.

Europe's statistics service Eurostat said industrial production in Ireland increased 2.9pc in the month, but across the eurozone the figure dipped 0.5pc.

The largest decreases were registered in Portugal, down 11.2pc, Luxembourg, down 4.1pc, Croatia, down 3.3pc and the Czech Republic which slipped 2.8pc. Ireland topped the table for the biggest increase, followed closely by Romania, Hungary and Poland.

Meanwhile, the European Commission yesterday published its Annual Growth Survey which showed the average budget deficit in the EU has been reduced by about a half since the peak of almost 7pc of the value of the economy in 2009. But debt levels are set to peak at 90pc of gross domestic product next year before starting to decline.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the survey pointed out areas where bolder reforms were needed to "build a lasting and job-rich recovery".

"This is a turning point for the EU economy. The EU's hard work is starting to pay off and growth is slowly coming back," he said.

The Commission said budgetary coordination had reached an unprecedented level with the Commission assessing each country's draft budgets.

The Commission also said some progress has been made to repair the financial sector.

While banking union will allow banks the ability to manage risks in the future, more needs to be done in the short term to reduce high private debt, the Brussels-based body said. It said that the focus should now be placed on stepping up supports and training for the unemployed.

Meanwhile, stockbrokers Davy gave an upbeat assessment of Irish economic growth, projecting GDP will rise 1pc this year and 2.5pc in 2014. This is more ambitious than the Department of Finance's view that the economy will grow just 0.2pc this year and 2pc in 2014.

Irish Independent

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