New data confirms a continuing increase in the number of vacant commercial premises across the country.

By the end of last year, over 27,500 commercial addresses were unoccupied.

Co Sligo recorded the highest number at 15.4%, while the lowest rate is in Co Kerry where almost 9% of units are empty.

The national vacancy average is 12%.

The figures are contained in a review of commercial occupancy from GeoDirectory, a joint initiative between Ordinance Survey Ireland and An Post.

Over 2,000 premises around the country were vacated in the 12 months from January 2013.

Dara Keogh of GeoDirectory said the figures indicate businesses are still feeling the effects of the economic downturn.