ESRI issues bleak economic assessment for 2008
The Economic and Social Research Institute has issued another bleak assessment for the short-term future of the Irish economy.
In its latest assessment, the think tank says it expects GNP to grow by just 1.6% this year due to the ongoing downturn in the housing sector.
This would be the slowest growth rate in 20 years.
The ESRI also says it expects no growth at all on the jobs front and a rise in unemployment to 6%.
It says the Government will have to tighten the purse strings even further as the Exchequer deficit is set to top ?5bn.
Despite the pessimistic outlook, the organisation says the economy should begin to recover in 2009, with growth picking up to around 3%.