Ireland's on course to remain the EU's fastest growing economy

The CSO has reported year-on-year growth of 6.9%

The Irish economy continued to grow at a strong pace in the third quarter of this year.

New CSO figures show GDP was up by 4%, compared to the previous quarter - and 6.9% higher than this time a year ago.

GNP, which many economists consider to be a better reflection of the native economy, increased by 3.2% during the quarter.

Commenting, Jennifer Banim, Assistant Director General with responsibility for Economic Statistics said: "The three largest sectors of the economy experienced growth with Industry increasing by 3.8% in volume terms, Distribution, transport, software and communications growing by 5.3% and Other services showing 1.5% growth."

Meanwhile, consumption expenditure crept up by 0.7% in the third quarter.

Net exports increased by €6.4bn during the three months, however this is largely explained by lower imports of intellectual property products and a consequent fall in capital formation of 17.8%. Overall total domestic demand declined by 1.8% in the third quarter of 2016 compared with the previous quarter.

The CSO controversially reported a 26% growth rate in Ireland in 2015 as companies moved assets onto Irish balance sheets raising the country's GDP.