The latest economic forecast from the European Commission paints a bleak picture for the future of the Irish economy, predicting economic output will fall 5% in 2009 with unemployment rising to 9.7%. The report also estimates that the budget deficit will be the highest in Europe by 2010, reaching 13% of GDP. The commission said that Ireland in particular will bear the brunt of the global economic downturn due to its reliance on foreign trade and financial services. The economy of the 16 countries using the euro is forecast to contract by 1.9% in 2009. Latvia is the only economy predicted to fare worse in 2009, where GDP is expected to fall by 6.9%.
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