The Exchequer recorded a surplus in the public finances of €4.2 billion at the end of June, according to figures published by the Department of Finance.

This compares to a deficit of €5.3 billion recorded at the same point last year.

This means there has been an improvement in the public finances of €9.5 billion based on lower than anticipated spending and better than expected levels of income, VAT and corporation taxes.

On a 12-month rolling basis, there is now a surplus of €2.1 billion in the public finances.

Overall tax revenue was €36.9 billion which was €7.4 billion or 25% higher than over the same period last year. Voted expenditure was €1.4 billion or 3.5% lower than the first half of 2021.

Income tax for the first six months of the year was up €2 billion on the same period last, or 17% higher at €14.3 billion.

VAT receipts, which are distorted because the country was in lockdown for much of the first six months of last year, are up 26% or €1.9 billion to €9.1 billion.

Corporation tax is up €3 billion or 53% to €8.8 billion on the amount collected in the first half 2021.

Tom Woods, Partner and Head of Tax in KPMG said the latest figures show a "remarkable" performance compared to the deficit of €5.3 billion recorded to the end of June 2021.

"The ending of Covid-19 supports has clearly played a role in the overall improved Exchequer position," he said.

"It appears that the challenges in the global economy have yet to impact the multinational and domestic sectors in Ireland," he added.

Peter Vale, Tax Partner at Grant Thornton Ireland said while there is some anecdotal evidence of a slow down in hiring, income tax receipts should remain strong for the remainder of the year.

"While consumers are clearly concerned about cost of living increases, including interest rate hikes, so far it does not appear to have impacted on spending," he said.

"While inflation will partly act as a counterweight, there is a risk of a slowdown in spending in the second half of the year, potentially spelling an end to the higher VAT receipts seen earlier in the year.

Mr Vale said the strong Exchequer figures will provide comfort to the Government as it considers its Budget 2023 spending package, in particular the desire to mitigate cost of living increases.