The Irish economy is predicted to grow at a slightly higher rate than previously expected, according to the first quarterly Central Bank bulletin of the year.
The forecast of 2.1 per cent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) is a revision on the 2 per cent growth anticipated by the bank's last bulletin.
An increase in consumer spending and business investment have been highlighted as major contributory factors.
The reports suggests that consumer spending is likely to grow by around 1 per cent this year, thanks to greater public confidence in the jobs market.
Unemployment is also expected to drop from 13.2 per cent last year to 11.9 per cent this year.
'While these are welcome developments, deficit and debt levels remain very high and further consolidation is needed in coming years to put debt firmly on a downward path and secure sustainability,' the report warned.