EC predicts 5% economic contraction in Ireland this year
The European Commission is predicting that Ireland will suffer much worse on the economic front than most other EU countries this year.
In its latest forecast, the EC predicts that Ireland's economy will contract by 5% this year, compared to 2% last year.
In the EU as a whole, economic growth is expected to contract by 1.8% in 2009 before recovering slightly to 0.5% growth in 2010.
Elsewhere, the EC is also predicting that unemployment will rise to 9.7% in Ireland this year, while the budget deficit will increase from 6.3% of GDP last year to 11% this year and 13% in 2010.
The commission says the pessimistic forecast is a result of the ongoing financial crisis, the global economic downturn and the collapse in the Irish housing market.