Economic growth is expected to remain strong in 2014 and 2015, with a Gross National Product (GNP) of over 3.5% forecast in both years, according to the latest analysis published today in the ESRI Quarterly Economic Commentary.

However, speaking on Newstalk this morning Dr David Duffy of the ESRI said: “The regions unfortunately will lag a little behind.”

He noted that this was a very real issue and said: “It’s more clearly seen in the property market where we see a regional dimension to it where there is very strong growth in Dublin house prices.

“For a time even though Dublin house prices were growing your weren’t seeing growth out in the regions.”

Duffy said: “As momentum picks up in the economy…we should start to see it filter out. But things like that do depend on things like job creation decisions in the regions and the flow of activity out to the regions.”

Speaking about the latest commentary, Duffy also said: “GNP continues to provide the best measure of the standard of living (and output) of Irish residents. We are expecting growth in GNP in 2014 of 3.4% and growth in GNP of 3.7% in 2015. Further declines in unemployment are forecast, with the headline rate envisaged to fall to 9.8% in 2015.”

He continued: “While the outlook for the economy is positive, the weak growth prospects for the euro zone are a concern. Domestically, the particularly low rate of investment, the high rate of unemployment and the weak levels of credit being extended remain as issues to be addressed.”