Ireland is set to be the fastest-growing economy in the Eurozone for the second year in a row in 2015 as the recovery becomes sustainable, according to Goodbody Stockbrokers.
The Dublin-based firm is forecasting growth of 4pc this year, highlighting that domestic demand is now the main driver of the recovery.
It comes as separate data shows that activity in the construction sector continued to rise last month, but at a lower pace than in November.
The pace of expansion in housing and commercial property activities both eased during the month, but activity in civil engineering increased at its fastest pace in eight years.
Goodbody said in its latest economy health check that Ireland's growth last year was "nothing short of spectacular".
"While we expect a moderation in the growth rate this year, our 4pc GDP forecast still puts Ireland at the top of the growth table," said Goodbody economist Dermot O'Leary.
Goodbody said scepticism about Ireland's growth rate was "unjustified".
The stockbroking firm said the receovery was being led by domestic demand, which was set to grow by 4.1pc this year. The firm said the deficit should fall to below 3pc this year, but warned that the Government has left itself little room for manoeuvre after it scaled back in Budget 2014.
"Spending pressure will come by way of public sector pay negotiations and an upcoming election," Goodboy warned.
"In this regard, it is important that sensible fiscal policies are not abandoned, undoing the hard-won gains of recent years."
Goodbody outlined seven key issues for 2015, including domestic politics in the run up to the next election and economic stagnation in the Eurozone.