Wednesday, October 09 10:53:04
The economic recovery is picking up at a faster pace than expected, thanks to still-strong exports and falling unemployment, according to the Economic and Social Research Institute.
The economic think-tank has forecast economic growth this year of 2pc, and will grow by a hefty 2.7pc next year on the back of a marked improvement in employment figures and better consumer spending.
However, the ESRI has urged Finance Minister Michael Noonan not to ease up on austerity in next week's Budget.
It wants the Government to press ahead with the full E3.1bn of tax increases and spending cuts, despite Minister Noonan's announcement yesterday that he is seeking a E2.5bn saving.
It said one more tough budget is better than dragging out the austerity over two more years.
The ESRI predicted the public finances would come in ahead of target this year, with borrowing at around 7pc of GDP, below the troika ceiling target of 7.5pc.
It said it continued to hold the view that "the most prudent course of action" was to implement an adjustment of E3.1 billion in next week's budget.