“We are a very small economy, and if we get a big increase in assets, this is what happens,” Michael Connolly, an official at the CSO, said.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan pointed out that tax inversions artificially inflate the size of Ireland’s economy. Once a group of companies base their headquarters in Ireland, all of its profits may be counted as part of the country’s gross national income – since 2008, the gauge has been bolstered by 7 billion euros without accompanying substance or employment.

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Consequently, Power argued that Ireland’s underlying economic growth was really closer to 5.5% last year.

“To me, it looks like Ireland is growing at a reasonable, not dramatic rate,” Power added. “There are so many transactions going on that nobody understands.”

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iShares MSCI Ireland Capped ETF