Belfast Telegraph

IMF: Republic of Ireland only bailout country that will post growth this year

By Peter Flanagan in Luxembourg

The Republic of Ireland is the only bailout country in the eurozone likely to post economic growth this year as we begin a "bumpy recovery", the IMF says in a report released today .

The Washington-based International Monetary Fund predicts that real gross domestic product will expand 0.4pc this year and 1.4pc next year.

There are signs the Irish government's economic policies may be working although it won't be plain sailing, with the IMF predicting that Ireland is experiencing a "bumpy recovery".

It made the forecast as Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan conceded that he probably won't get any agreement on the Republic's mountain of debt before the December's Budget, when the country is due to make another €3.1bn repayment to meet the cost of bailing out Anglo Irish Bank.

Such a deal would have helped Mr Noonan to sell the next budget to voters, but he admitted that a March deadline was now more likely.

"It would help me doing the budgetary arithmetic if something could be arranged or a statement of intent could be achieved before the Budget," he said at a meeting of finance ministers in Luxembourg.

News of the delay came as eurozone finance ministers formally inaugurated the €500bn European Stability Mechanism..

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