LONDON - Ireland's economy grew by 4.3 percent in the third quarter of 2017 compared to the previous quarter, making it Europe's top performer, official data showed on Friday.

The growth rate was 10.5 percent on a 12-month comparison, the Central Statistics Office said. Despite a surprise contraction of 3.5 percent in the first quarter of this year, Ireland is leading Europe thanks to its manufacturing and technology sectors, although farming and fishing have gone down.

The CSO said it had not used data for intellectual property imports by the many multinationals based in Ireland as well as for aviation and leasing, which have led to a high volatility in the growth figures.

The CSO also highlighted Ireland's high trade surplus with Britain, whose plans to exit from the European Union have caused deep concern in Ireland.

Britain is Ireland's main trade partner.

Ireland's economy has seen vigorous growth since it exited an international bailout in 2013 that was set up in the wake of the global financial crisis to save a banking sector on the verge of bankruptcy.