A strong recovery in consumer spending and higher than expected corporation tax helped push the deficit in the public finances lower in September.

According to the Department of Finance, an Exchequer deficit of just over €6 billion was recorded to the end of September, an improvement of just over €3 billion on the same period last year.

On a twelve month rolling basis, the Exchequer deficit was €9.153 billion at the end of last month.

Total tax receipts to the end of September are ahead of target by 5.8% or €2.5 billion and €6.3 billion or 15.9% ahead of the same period last year.

According to a statement from the Department of Finance, the lifting of public health restrictions has led to a 'more rapid rebound than previously assumed.'

VAT receipts are €893 million or 7.7% ahead of target to the end of September, while corporation tax is just over €1billion or 15% ahead.

Meanwhile, there continues to be an underspend across government departments.

At the end of September, this stood at almost €2 billion (€1.986 billion) or 3.2% below profile.