Ireland has breached EU limits on four key tests of economic stability, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show. 

The Macroeconomic Scorecard, compiled by the CSO, is part of a system introduced by the European Commission during the financial crisis to flag imbalances in member state economies. 

The number of breaches is down from the high of 10 breaches in 2010 and 2011 and the CSO said it is seeing continuing improvements.

Ireland is out of step with European limits when it comes to house price inflation, private and government debt levels and our international investment position. 

However, Ireland is way ahead of European norms when it comes to unemployment, growth in labour costs and exports. 

Irish government debt, at 63.6% of GDP, remained slightly above the EU threshold of 60% last year, while the deflated house prices indicator - which measures inflation in the housing market - recorded an 8.3% annual change, above the 6% EU threshold. 

Private sector debt, at 223% of GDP, continued to breach the EU threshold of 133%. 

But for the first time since the lead up to the economic crisis, the combined total of Irish owned debt - households and Irish non-financial corporations - was below the EU threshold.

This trend continued in 2018 with the combined total of Irish owned debt making up less than half of the total private sector debt, the CSO said.