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Recovery hopes soar

A TOP economist believes Ireland is emerging from recession, with encouraging economics signs coming thick and fast.

Bloxhams Stockbrokers chief economist Alan McQuaid believes the country is over the worst but that the debt crisis threatens to delay the recovery.

Total industrial output volumes are up 13.7pc, while manufacturing volumes are up 15.3pc for the three months from January to March 2010.

"We are over the worst, the numbers are getting better," he said.

"There is a definite pick-up in the economy. Last week's Reuters survey of Irish economists showed predictions of GDP growth of +1pc for 2010, compared to a -0.6pc prediction for the previous poll in March. We are in a better position than most. The decision to go ahead with the Government bond auction from the NTMA next Tuesday is another vote of confidence.

"The omens for the overall manufacturing sector look good, with the latest Purchasing Managers index for April showing a second successive positive reading above the 'neutral' 50 level. March was the first time in 28 months that the Manufacturing PMI pointed to growth in the sector."

However, the positive signs are still highly dependent on a strengthening of sterling and a gradual emergence from the present debt crisis.

"If the debt crisis goes on for much longer, it will scupper the recovery," Mr McQuaid added.