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IMF warns of a slowdown

THE International Monetary Fund has given Ireland a positive report card for measures it has undertaken to reduce the deficit but anticipates a slowdown in the economy next year.

The IMF said that the country was on track to meet its fiscal goals this year and was ahead of schedule in restructuring its banking sector.

However, the fund has cut its growth outlook for the country for 2011 and 2012 due to the risk of weaker export growth.

"The growth outlook for key trading partners -- the euro area, the US and the UK -- has worsened substantially," the report outlined.

IMF expects the economy to grow by just 0.4pc this year and a further 1.5pc next year. It commended the Irish authorities for what it described as resolute implementation of the agreed programme.