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INDUSTRIAL production in Ireland grew at the highest rate of any country in the EU in the year to the end of November, according to Europe's statistical agency, Eurostat.

And industrial production across the Eurozone in November was the strongest in three years and rose faster than expected, signalling that the recovery in the 17-member bloc gathered momentum in the final months of 2013.

While Ireland topped the table, Malta and debt-riddled Greece suffered the largest declines.

Industrial production here increased 13.2pc between November 2012 and November 2013.

This was followed by Slovakia, up 12.7pc, the Czech Republic, up 8.8pc, and Romania, up 8.7pc.

The data points to a slight acceleration of the economic recovery of the €9.5trn Eurozone economy in the last quarter of 2013.