DUBLIN, July 11 (Reuters) - Ireland’s gross domestic product grew 2.4% in the first quarter of 2019 and growth for 2018 was revised up to 8.2%, the Central Statistics Office said on Thursday.
Growth in the quarter rose 6.3% from the first quarter a year ago, the data showed.
Irish GDP has outperformed the rest of the European Union every year since 2014, undeterred by Britain’s decision to quit the EU, which the government warned could lead to a sudden contraction if Ireland’s nearest neighbour left without a transition agreement — which it does not yet have.
The strong first quarter tallies with striking jobs numbers for the first three months. The labour market, already close to capacity with unemployment below 5%, added new workers at the fastest pace since Ireland’s economic recovery began.
Many economists use the labour market as the most accurate barometer of how Ireland’s open economy is doing. The relevance of GDP diminished when 2015 growth was adjusted up to 26% after a massive revision of the stock of capital assets.
Such distortions, related to Ireland’s large cluster of multinational companie, inflated GDP again for the last two years. Personal consumption of goods and services, a clearer indicator of activity in the domestic economy, grew by 3.4% in 2018.
The statistics office has also begun phasing in new measures which strip out some of those globalised activities. Modified total domestic demand, which strips out the effects of multinationals re-domiciling, relocating or depreciating their capital assets, rose by 1.6% quarter-on-quarter in the first three months. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin, editing by Larry King)