ESRI - Recovery has 'turned a corner'

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) says Ireland's economy has now turned the corner - and it predicts the recovery will speed up significantly next year.

In its Quarterly Economic Commentary published today, the Institute said the economy will grow by 2% in 2013 - and is likely to increase by 2.7% next year.

It is putting the growth down to a "significantly" improving labour market.

The ESRI predicts that unemployment will fall to 12% in 2014 - down from 13.1% this year.

"Recovery in the domestic economy should contribute to economic growth of 2.0% in GNP terms this year and growth of 2.7% in 2014, according to the latest analysis," the Institute reported.

"Domestic demand is estimated to have grown by 0.9% in 2013, the first increase in this aggregate since the crisis began," the commentary continued.

"On top of this mild recovery in domestic demand, there is a continuing stimulus to the economy from the robust performance of the export sector.

"When taken together these developments underpin our forecast that GNP is likely to have grown by 2% this year."

Senior Research Officer David Duffy says it all points to a stronger economy - but risks remain.

"We're basing it on indicators like the labour market - the Live Register is showing unemployment figures are down, (also) tax receipts are up which would suggest an improvement in the overall economy," Mr Duffy said.

"Now there are risks - if the European environment and the internaional environment doesn't improve, and we don't get the growth in Europe contributing to the growth in trade here which would feed through into growth in jobs - well than that would mean a lower growth rate.

"There are risks to the forecast but it does look like we will see growth picking up in 2014."

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