Ireland’s economy probably grew by 0.4% in the last quarter of 2013 and more robust growth is expected for 2014 as the labour market gains momentum and exports improve, a new Reuters poll showed on Monday.<p>
Ireland’s economy has begun the year on a positive note, after completing an international bailout. Unemployment has fallen below the Eurozone average and consumer sentiment is near a seven-year high. The economy grew by a better-than-expected 1.5% in the third quarter of last year, but sluggish exports probably held quarterly growth to just 0.4% in the fourth quarter. The official GDP data for the final quarter are due on Thursday.<p>
Meanwhile, annual GDP growth is set to rise to 2.1% this year from an estimated 0.3% in 2013, according to the median forecast of 10 economists. That is enough to start reducing one of the highest debt levels in Europe.
We are looking for GDP growth of 0.2% in 2013 and 2.0% in 2014, but believe the risks to this year’s forecasts are tilted to the upside.<p>
<b>We are looking for GDP growth of 0.2% in 2013 and 2.0% in 2014, but believe the risks to this year’s forecasts are tilted to the upside.<p><h5>Alan McQuaid</h5>
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