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'No change in GDP'

THE latest economic outlook from Merrion Stockbrokers has forecast no change in Ireland's GDP this year, followed by a 1.5pc rise in 2014.

Chief economist at the firm, Alan McQuaid, has blamed the downward revision on weak exports, with the growth rate for 2012 revised down to 1.6pc from the initial figure of 2.9pc. This compares to growth of 5.4pc in 2011 and 6.4pc in 2010.

The outlook says this reduced rate will make it difficult for the wider economy to grow in 2013.