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Ireland's GDP to fall at least 9 pct in 2020: CBI

04 Jul 2020, 04:30 GMT+10

DUBLIN, July 3 (Xinhua) -- The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) said on Friday that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) is likely to fall by at least 9 percent due to the impact of COVID-19.

In a quarterly bulletin released on its website, CBI said the 9-percent negative growth rate projected for the country's economy in 2020 is made under a scenario where the gradual reopening of the economy would allow for an initial rebound in economic activity over the near term while some containment measures would remain in place for a longer period.

Under this "baseline" scenario, the Irish economy will grow by 5.7 percent next year and 4.5 percent in 2022, said CBI.

If the virus is not effectively contained and stringent containment measures have to be reinstated at some point in the future, the country's economy could shrink by 13.8 percent this year, warned CBI, adding that under such a "severe" scenario, the Irish economy will grow by 4.9 percent in 2021 and 5.4 percent in 2022.

A possible hard Brexit has been taken into account while making the projections under both scenarios, CBI added.

The central bank also noted that under the two different scenarios, unemployment rate in Ireland will range between 14.5 percent and 16.6 percent in 2020 and fall to a range of 7.3 percent to 9.4 percent in 2022, a level still higher than that recorded prior to the COVID-19 crisis.

In 2019, Ireland's GDP growth rate and unemployment rate were 5.5 percent and 4.9 percent respectively, according to CBI.

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