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Jobless 'peak of 15.5pc'

THE unemployment rate in Ireland will peak at 15.5pc and investment by businesses will plummet by a further 5pc this year, economists believe. But the Ernst & Young's eurozone economic forecast had some positive news, as it revised Ireland's GDP growth upwards from 0.6pc to 1pc in 2013.

Ernst & Young's senior economic advisor Marie Diron said that the ECB bond purchase programme will only serve as a temporary "sticking plaster" for the eurozone, albeit an essential one.

"We believe a more radical approach will be necessary over the coming months to ensure even the weakest of recoveries next year and in the future," she said.