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We're winning battle to reduce our deficit

The Government was given a welcome boost today by the news that the economy is growing faster than anticipated.

Ireland is now closer to reaching our debt targets set by the Troika -- with new figures showing a shrinking of our budget deficit.

However despite the positive outlook, Finance Minister Michael Noonan (pictured) still intends to impose the agreed cuts of €3.5bn in December's Budget.

The figures, released by the Central Statistics Office, also show that individual incomes fell by 2.1pc last year, with farmers being the exception.