Davy cuts growth forecast for 2017
Davy Stockbrokers has cut its forecast for Irish economic growth in 2017 from 4pc to 3.7pc.
In an economic forecast published today the firm said exports had been weaker than expected. It also cut its growth estimate for 2016 - saying GDP had likely risen 4.8pc rather than 6pc.
"However, the recovery in domestic demand remains strong and jobs growth has been robust through 2016. We expect consumer spending to grow by 3.2pc in 2016 and 3pc in 2017," the report said.
"Housing construction and resilient foreign direct investment (FDI) will help investment grow by 7.4pc in 2016 and 6.8pc in 2017 - benefiting Irish domestic banks and the REIT sector."
The report said Brexit "remains the key risk" for the Irish economy but said the impact of last June's referendum had been muted.
"Some macroeconomic indicators such as consumer sentiment surveys softened in [the second half of] 2016 but, notably, Ireland's composite PMI bounced back to 58.4 in December - still consistent with rapid growth," it said.
"However, it remains to be seen how markets will react to the UK invoking Article 50 in early 2017. A sharp depreciation of sterling remains a risk for export competitiveness."