Ireland tops economic growth charts forecast

Barcelona-based economic intelligence group FocusEconomics has positioned Ireland at the top of its forecasts league for euro area GDP growth, raising its prediction for Irish growth to 1.1pc for this year.

The analysts say that only Ireland, Malta and Spain will see any economic growth at all this year.

FocusEconomics cited the Promissory Note deal as a major turning point for the Government, with credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s upgraded its outlook on the Irish economy from negative to stable.

“FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants see the economy growing 1.1pc in 2013, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s projection. The panel expects economic growth to accelerate to 2.0pc in 2014,”  the report said.

The analysts projects Irish industrial production to contract 0.3pc in 2013, which is down 0.9 percentage points from its previous forecast as the country battles global demand headwinds.

More broadly, the economic outlook for the Euro area finally stabilised this month, following six consecutive downward revisions, it said.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists left their euro zone 2013 GDP projection unchanged at the 0.1pc contraction expected last month.

Ten of the 17 Eurozone member states experienced downward revisions to their growth forecast, five remained stable and only two countries (Ireland and Spain) saw their outlook improve, it said.