IBEC slashes predictions for 2010 economic decline to 0.7pc
EMPLOYERS' body Ibec has slashed its predictions for the rate of 2010's economic decline for the second time in a row, despite voicing concerns that industrial action could threaten Ireland's recovery.
In its latest quarterly economic bulletin, Ibec says it believes Ireland's gross domestic production (GDP), a benchmark measure of economic output, will contract by just 0.7pc this year.
IBEC predicted a 1.6pc decline back in October and a higher rate still earlier in 2009.
The latest bulletin also foresees improved growth in 2011, with IBEC expecting GDP to expand by 2.1pc that year, against its previous prediction of 1.7pc growth.
IBEC director general Danny McCoy attributed the improved outlook to "tough action" on public finances, which had "resulted in some restoration of confidence in Ireland on international finance markets".
That improved confidence was influencing the cost of Ireland's government borrowing, leaving the country with lower interest bills and improved growth prospects, he added. IBEC also credited the international economic recovery with boosting Ireland's prospects, although it will only help exporters "to a limited degree" given Ireland's trade profile.