Irish economy to shrink by 7%: central bank

The Irish economy is set for an even worse year than previously thought, according to the latest forecast by the country's central bank.

The Central Bank & Financial Services Authority of Ireland said on Friday that GDP would fall by close to 7% in 2009, revised from its January estimate of a 4% contraction.

The central bank said in its latest Quarterly Bulletin that Ireland was undergoing an "unprecedented contraction" and blamed the country's "unsustainable" construction boom for the slowdo

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