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Recession to return

IRELAND is predicted to slip back into recession later this year, as the eurozone crisis continues to hit export sales. The report by accountants Ernst & Young now expects GDP to grow by an average of just 1pc a year.

This compares with the 2.2pc forecast in this month's report from the IMF.

Ernst & Young's Neil Gibson said the forecasts had been reduced mainly because there is no clear solution to the eurozone crisis in sight.

Mr Gibson had already been downbeat about 2012, but now sees GDP falling slightly, after a 0.7pc increase last year. The Government should concentrate on creating jobs, the report said.