The pace of GDP growth in Ireland reached 7% in 2016, placing it ahead of Britain’s 2.4% and Germany’s 1.5%, the European commission said in its winter forecast. The commission said the strong rate of expansion will continue into 2017/18 when the GDP measure of economic activity, which includes Ireland’s multinational sector, will grow by at least 3.5%. On unemployment, the commission report said the jobless rate will drop to below 8.5% in 2017, bringing Ireland below the EU average.

Irish consumers have already renewed their appetite for spending, according to the latest KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index, which hit a nine-year high at the start of 2016. The survey’s compilers said rising property prices, low to negative inflation and recent tax cuts had probably lifted confidence, good news for jobseekers in Ireland this year!