Higher than expected corporation tax receipts helped boost the November Exchequer returns, according to the latest monthly figures from the Department of Finance.

Tax receipts for the year to date are 1.6% (€470m) ahead of forecasts.

The overall tax take of €29.5bn is 4.1% (€1.3bn) behind the same period in 2009.

However, the corporation tax take for the 11 months to the end of November was just over €3.6bn, 19% ahead of Department of Finance estimates.

The higher than anticipated returns from taxing company profits, boosted by strong export performance, has offset some of the weakness in the domestic economy.

High unemployment and wage cuts are reflected in the income tax take, which is €356m behind Budget day predictions.

Despite weak consumer sentiment and retail sales, the VAT take is €9.8bn, €74m head of expectations.