The International Monetary Fund expects the Irish economy to grow by 3.5% this year and 3.2% in 2018.

This is well below the Department of Finance’s 4.3% GDP prediction for this year, which was upgraded by 0.8% last week.

However, the IMF projection for Ireland for 2017 is consistent with the Central Bank’s assessment, with the regulator also forecasting growth of 3.5% this year.

In its latest World Economic Outlook report, the IMF also said growth this year in the 19-nation euro zone would be 1.7%, up 0.1% from its January estimate but unchanged from the 2016 performance.

It also warned the euro zone economic outlook is clouded by Brexit and election uncertainties, with growth expected to be only modest overall.

For 2018, the IMF said euro zone growth will slow slightly to 1.6%, in line with its previous forecast.

"The euro area recovery is expected to proceed at a broadly similar pace in 2017-18 as in 2016," it said.

"The modest recovery is projected to be supported by a mildly expansionary fiscal stance, accommodative financial conditions, a weaker euro, and beneficial spillovers from a likely US fiscal stimulus," it said.

However, "political uncertainty as elections approach in several countries, coupled with uncertainty about the European Union's future relationship with the United Kingdom, is expected to weigh on activity."

The IMF raised significantly its forecast for 2017 British growth as the economy performs better than expected since the country voted last year to quit the European Union.

In a boost for Prime Minister Theresa May, who announced a snap general election, the IMF said Britain's economy is expected to grow by 2% this year, up from its 1.5% annual GDP estimate given in January.