It says longer pandemic restrictions have slowed the domestic economy but this will be offset by greater demand for exports.

It predicts that when measured by gross domestic product, the economy will grow by 5.9% this year, over 2% more than it predicted at the start of the year.

Its forecast for Modified Domestic Demand, which attempts to strip out the impact of multinationals, is actually down slightly to 2.8% but this will be offset by stronger demand for our exports from abroad, the Bank believes.

Overall, it calculates the direct and indirect cost to the government of tackling Covid this year and last will come to €32.2 billion.

Of the extra €15.7 billion squirreled away in savings over the past year, the Bank believes about €5 billion or so will make its way back into spending, but of that some will be spent on imports and foreign holidays so not all of it will boost the domestic economy.

The Bank has pencilled in a forecast for 20,000 housing units to be completed this year and 23,000 in 2022.

It notes this is still well below estimates of demand and is dependent on construction returning later this month.

Its estimate for the €32.2 billion cost of Covid is broken down into €16.4billion spent directly in 2020 on income supports and health expenditure and €3.2 billion through various tax concession schemes.

This year, it estimates that direct expenditure will total €11.9 billion while €700 m will be through tax schemes.

There is also an additional €5 billion set aside as indirect support for the company credit guarantee scheme but it’s not possible yet to calculate its final cost.

It expects the Covid-adjusted rate of unemployment, which is currently just over 24%, to decline sharply when the economy reopens later in the year.

However, it also predicts that the underlying rate of unemployment will increase from 6.6% this year to 8.1% next year as not all who move off the PUP will return to work.

It calculates that by the end of next year, there could be an additional 80-100,000 unemployed compared to the labour market pre-pandemic.