Ireland set to be EU's fastest-growing economy in 2016

The European Commission's growth forecast just got an upgrade...

Ireland will boast the fastest-growing economy in Europe this year, according to new figures from the European Commission.

The Commission has revised its forecasted growth rate, with the Irish economy now predicted to grow by 4.9% in 2016.

It was set at 4.5% just three months ago.

The predicted growth rate far outstrips the expected Eurozone average of 1.6%, down from 1.7% in February estimates. The continent's largest economy, Germany, should grow by just 1.6%.

Malta and Romania are two other nations that should enjoy greater-than-average growth, at 4.1% and 4.2% respectively.

The Commission's 2017 prediction for growth in the Irish economy has also received a boost, up from 3.5% to 3.7%.

The European Commission wrote in its report:

"The Irish economy appears resilient to the recent deceleration in world output. GDP growth is forecast to remain strong but to settle to more sustainable rates in 2016 and 2017, supporting improvements in the fiscal position over the forecast horizon.

"Nevertheless, the still high levels of public and private debt, and the uncertainty surrounding external economic and policy developments invite some caution".