Economic growth across the eurozone growth slowed at the start of 2018. Economists said temporary factors were partly behind the weakness and that the economy should continue to expand strongly this year.
Gross domestic product across the 19 countries sharing the euro currency expanded by 0.4 percent in the first quarter compared to the last quarter of 2017 and by 2.5 percent year on year, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on Wednesday.
The temporary slowdown is positive news for Irish homeowners, particularly those with variable rate mortgages; the European Central Bank will be in no rush to start increasing lending rates. A majority of Irish mortgage holders carry volatile variable and short-term fixed rate mortgages which are highly sensitive to movements in the key rate benchmarks set by the European Central Bank.
Despite the Q1 easing of economic growth, this is expected to be short-term and economists are predicting that economic growth will return in the second-half of 2018, if not sooner.
However, the 2.5% economic expansion recorded in 2017 is not expected to be repeated in 2018.
Ireland continues to outperform the Eurozone on a number of key measures; economic growth and unemployment.