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Ireland's growth 'rapid'

A raft of indicators suggest Ireland's economy is expanding at an "exceptionally rapid pace" and is the fastest-growing in Europe, one of the country's leading stockbrokers has said.

Davy predicted just €500m worth of tax hikes and spending cuts would be needed in Budget 2015 to ensure the budget deficit falls below 3pc of gross domestic product next year.

And it has joined both IBEC and the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in forecasting unemployment will dip below 10pc in 2015 for the first time in six years and 12 months ahead of predictions from the Government.