An economist has said that Ireland's success in attracting multinational companies is coming under increasing pressure, and more jobs will be lost in this area.

Friends First economist Jim Power said the main problems were increased competition from emerging economies and a loss of cost competitiveness.

He predicted GDP growth of 2.3% for this year, the lowest since 1991.

Mr Power said foreign investment would have to play a crucial role in maintaining prosperity as construction and manufacturing were under pressure.

The economist said urgent action was needed on issues such as productivity, wage costs, the costs of doing business and the country's physical and technological infrastructure.