Central Bank upgrades growth from last year, as well as 2016 outlook

The bank says the recovery has been "employment-rich"

The Central Bank says Ireland recorded stronger growth in the economy in 2015 because of the actions taken to stabilise it.

Its latest quarterly bulletin says GDP hit 6.6% last year, which is up from previous forecasts of 5.8%.

The bank says the recovery has been "employment-rich" and helped by wage growth and lower energy prices.

"Stimulus to incomes from an employment-rich recovery has been augmented by both the emergence of wage growth and the further boost to purchasing power from lower energy prices", the bank says.

"Growth has also benefitted from a more benign policy environment, reflected in both the easing of the pace of fiscal consolidation and continued favourable financial conditions and some improvement in household and firm balance sheets".

It also says the outlook is broadly favourable.

It has marginally revised upward its growth projections for this year to 4.8% - and is forecasting growth of 4.4% in 2017.

Chief economist, Gabriel Fagan, said: "Looking at current forecasts, there is still sufficient spare capacity to accommodate this strong growth over the next two years without encountering major constraints".

"More importantly, the strong growth outlook provides an opportunity to tackle the remaining legacies of the crisis and minimise future risks to economic, fiscal and financial stability".

Read the full bulletin here