Irish cbank increases 2012 growth forecast

DUBLIN Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:08am EST

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DUBLIN Jan 29 (Reuters) - Ireland's central bank raised its forecast for 2012 economic growth on Tuesday after better than expected retail sales data, but it warned the economy may expand slower than previously expected this year.

The central bank expects Ireland's gross domestic product to grow by 0.7 percent in 2012, when results are published in March, up from its last forecast of 0.5 percent, according to its latest quarterly bulletin.

It cut its forecast for 2013 to 1.3 percent from 1.7 percent.

"With growth in key trading partner countries projected to slow this year, weaker external demand is set to dampen Irish export growth in 2013 as compared to earlier expectations, while domestic demand is forecast to continue along its slow path towards stabilisation," the central bank bulletin said.

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