Central Bank raises Ireland’s 2011 growth forecast

Wednesday, 5 October 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

DUBLIN (AFP): The Central Bank of Ireland on Tuesday said it expected the eurozone country’s economy to grow by 1.0 percent this year, up from an earlier forecast of 0.8 percent.

“For 2011 as a whole, GDP (gross domestic product) is projected to expand by about one percent with the prospect of a modest pick-up to about 1.8 percent in 2012,” the bank said in its latest quarterly bulletin.

It added that it expects GNP (gross national product) to contract this year by about 0.4 percent before returning to growth of about 0.7 percent in 2012.

GNP is the measure favoured by the Dublin government as it strips out substantial repatriated profits from foreign investment -- thus providing a more accurate barometer of economic performance in Ireland.

Last November, Ireland had to seek an 85 billion-euro rescue package from the EU and the IMF as massive debt and deficit problems left the country on the verge of collapse.

“The external environment continues to be characterised by turbulent conditions on financial markets and signs of slower growth in many of the country’s main trading partners,” the central bank said in its bulletin.

“As a result, GDP growth may slow in the latter part of the year but the strong data for the first half point to a likely increase of about one percent for the year as a whole.”