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Rugby lifts economy

RUGBY success and a drop in the ECB rate have been credited with a massive bounce in consumer sentiment in Ireland.

The KBC/ESRI index jumped to 63.7 last month from 53.3 in October -- the strongest level since July last year.

This was the eighth largest monthly rise in the near 16-year history of the index. Consumers may have been buoyed by unexpectedly strong economic growth data for Ireland as well as some easing in the pace of job losses.

However, despite the jump the sentiment is still a long way off its long-term average of 88.1.