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Export growth slows down here

IRELAND has lost momentum in export growth following nine consecutive quarters of growth.

New research from the second Investec Export Analysis Report, which captures export demand, export competitiveness and the pace of GDP growth in Ireland's 15 major trading partners, found that growth stagnated in the last quarter of 2011.

However, export demand was still up 1.3pc on the same period in 2010.

The Irish Exporters Association's chief executive, John Whelan, said real growth in the market was likely to come from Asia.

"The slowdown in European markets reported on has continued into the first months of this year," Mr Whelan said.

"Exporters will be pushing for cost reductions to improve competitiveness and retain market share within the EU 27.

"The continued weakness in the euro will help make sales into the UK more competitive, but the real growth is most likely to come from market efforts in Asia."