DUBLIN, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Ireland's GDP growth for 2015 as a whole was 7.8 percent in real terms, up from 5.2 percent in the previous year, according to official figures on Friday.
The figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed Ireland's economy continued to perform strongly in the final quarter of 2015, with its GDP growing by 2.7 percent in the quarter, way above all the other eurozone countries.
Ireland's GNP showed an increase of 5.7 percent in 2015 over 2014, the CSO said.
According to economists here, this pace of growth is the fastest in Ireland since 2000, and it also made the country the fastest growing economy in the Europe Union for the second successive year.
The Irish government had forecast that the 2015 growth rate might exceed 7 percent and in January this year the country's central bank had said it expected GDP to be 6.6 percent for last year.
Irish economist Alan McQuaid said domestic demand was again the main driver of economic activity in the final quarter.
He also said that the indicators for the early part of 2016 point to another very good year ahead for the Irish economy despite some global headwinds.
"At this juncture we expect GDP growth of somewhere between 5 percent and 6 percent in real terms this year, again the best performance in Europe.
"However, if in its referendum on June 23, Britain were to vote to leave the European Union, then it would have serious negative implications for Ireland, particularly in regard to external trade, reducing GDP growth in the process," he added.