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Bank forecasts exports growth

THE outlook for Irish exporters is bright, according to research from HSBC, which predicts 6pc growth in trade this year.

The bank's forecast sees improving demand for Irish exports in the next few years, mainly thanks to gathering momentum in the country's largest trading partners, the US and Eurozone.

The figures are in stark contrast to recent GDP figures, which showed the economy shrunk by 0.3pc last year. They were described as "a shock" by Reuters and "a setback for Enda Kenny" (above) by Bloomberg. HSBC, however, found that the Irish economy is on a sustained upward trend, with the most dynamic emerging market for exports expected to be China.