Irish 2006 GDP Forecast Upgraded To 4.8%

Ireland's leading economic think-tank on April 25 upgraded its 2006 forecast for Irish gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 4.8%. The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) had downgraded its forecast to 4.7% from 5% its last quarterly commentary in January. Its latest analysis said that domestic factors would remain the main drivers and predicted that GDP growth would surge to 5.1% in 2007.

The ESRI meanwhile forecast gross national product (GNP) to grow by 5% this year compared with its January forecast of 4.8%. In 2007, it expects GNP growth of 5.3%. GNP is the more favored Irish growth measurement. It is regarded as a more accurate barometer of the country's economic performance as it strips out substantial repatriated foreign investment profits.

The ESRI added that it expected Irish consumption to grow by 5.9% next year and by 6.4% in 2007. "Investment will remain strong with growth rates of 7.8% and 6.9% forecast for 2006 and 2007 respectively," the ESRI said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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