The Central Bank has scaled back its projections for economic growth amid concerns about higher inflation and deteriorating competitiveness.

The bank expects growth to be 4.75% this year, as opposed to its earlier forecast of 5.75%.

The bank has also warned that Ireland's inflation which is the highest in the euro area has reached a worrying level.

However, it still believes the outlook for the economy remains good.

In related news, the euro raced past $1.36 for the first time since December 2004 in early trading in Europe this morning.

Currency dealers say speculators are rushing to buy the euro in anticipation of rising interest rates and an improved economic performance in the euro zone.

To get the latest Euro vs Dollar price, click to RTÉ Business.