Central Bank: Consumption will hit Celtic Tiger levels in 2018

Despite lingering Brexit threats...

Central Bank: Consumption will hit Celtic Tiger levels in 2018

Niall Carson PA Archive/PA Images

The Irish economy is continuing to grow at a healthy pace according to the Central Bank - however it's revising its forecast for this year downwards by 0.3% due to a weaker outlook for exports.

It now forecasts that Ireland's GDP will grow by 3.3% this year - and (unsurprisingly) highlights Brexit as the main threat to Ireland's economy.

It notes that, "Personal consumption expenditure forecast to remain a key driver of growth" and that personal consumption will surpass "pre-crisis levels" in 2018.

Chief Economist Gabriel Fagan commented: "The most reliable measures of domestic spending and economic activity suggest that the Irish economy continues to grow at a relatively healthy pace, though there are signs that growth momentum has slowed a little.

"Looking ahead, while the prospects for sustained, solid growth remain positive, external factors, particularly uncertainties in relation to Brexit, pose risks to the outlook."

He added that the Irish economy is yet to feel the full effects of the UK's decision - and that all predictions relating to Brexit contain high levels of uncertainty:

"To date, in the absence of any weakening in the UK economy, the impact of the Brexit referendum outcome on the Irish economy has mainly been felt through the volatility in the euro/sterling exchange rate.

"Uncertainty in the period following the referendum vote was reflected in a marked weakening of business sentiment indicators, which subsequently rebounded strongly, suggesting a muted overall impact from Brexit-related factors over the second-half of 2016."