DUBLIN: Ireland's economy grew at a faster rate than any other in the Eurozone during the first six months of the year, doubling the forecast average across the other thirteen countries in the zone, according to recent figures reported by the nation's Central Statistics Office.

GDP grew by 6.7% from January to June (a 1.5% year-on-year increase), compared with a forecast growth rate of 2.5% across the Eurozone as a whole, as predicted by economists at the European Commission.

The construction industry remains one of the drivers of the Emerald Isle's economy, with spending up by 6.5% in the second quarter, fuelled by growth in commercial property and infrastructure projects (though residential figures fell by nearly 8%).

Predictions for the full year suggest Ireland's annual growth could vary from 5% to over 6%, with Fergal O'Brien, chief economist for the Irish Business and Employers Confederation, claiming the country is "the envy of our European neighbors".

Data sourced from International Herald-Tribune; additional content by WARC staff