Figures for the first half of 2016 show a 21% increase in the number of companies formed compared with the same period last year.

The report, published by business and credit risk analyst Vision-net.ie, show that 10,500 companies were formed in Ireland in the first half of the year.

It claims that there is no evidence of the UK’s Brexit referendum having any impact on the level company formation.

It also says an increasing number of companies are being formed in rural areas, indicating "there is growing evidence of the recovery spreading beyond urban centres."

The professional services sector was the most popular industry for company start-ups in 2016, accounting for one in five new companies.

However, financial services was the sector with the greatest increase in start-ups when compared with the same period last year, with 1, 337 new financial services start-ups or 866 more than the first six months of 2015.

Other sectors which experienced strong start-up growth include utilities, construction and transport and logistics sectors.

On the other side of the coin, the agriculture and real estate sectors both suffered a fall in start-ups when compared with last year.

The highest increase in start-ups compared with the first two quarters of 2015 were in Wexford, Cork and Donegal.

Insolvencies across Ireland have also fallen by 12% when compared with the same period last year, with 486 insolvencies compared with 555 during Q1 and Q2, 2015.

These insolvency figures comprise 318 liquidations, 159 receiverships and 9 examinerships.