A leading firm of stockbrokers reports that Ireland is on course to become the third wealthiest country in the EU.

The autumn economic review by Goodbody Stockbrokers says there are no signs of a slowdown in the Irish economy which it predicts will grow by more than 10% this year.

This is the latest in a series of glowing forecasts on the Irish economy.

Colin Hunt of Goodbody Stockbrokers points to the fact that retail growth is at a higher rate than previously assumed. Hence, the revision of their economic forecast upwards. He also says that the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) has continued to attract international investment in Ireland leading to further economic growth. 

If the country is to achieve the position of third wealthiest country in the EU by 2006, there are challenges ahead, particularly when it comes to infrastructure.

The big challenge will be to improve the country's infrastructure.

Conor Hunt says that Ireland has a first world economy with a third world infrastructure and investment is required to bring infrastructure up to standard. The report identifies that if the goal is to be achieved, investment in infrastructure is absolutely necessary.

The idea that Irish people might enjoy the third highest standard of living of any country in the EU still comes as a shock to many people.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 11 August 2000. The reporter is Richard Curran.