The European Commission has revised downwards its growth predictions for Ireland for this year as the country's economic outlook remains clouded by uncertainty.

The European Commission has forecast that the Irish economy will grow by 4.1% this year, down from its earlier projection of 4.5%. 

The Commission has also forecast Irish GDP growth of 3.7% for 2020.

It said that robust employment developments, stronger wage growth and weak inflation are set to further support private consumption. 

Meanwhile, construction activity is forecast to expand at a brisk pace, supported by government supply measures.

But the Commission said the ongoing decline in consumer confidence, reflecting uncertainty about the economic outlook, suggests downside risks to consumer spending. 

It also said the country's GDP is estimated to have grown by 6.8% in 2018, well below its projections of 7.8% in the autumn.  

"This reflects weaker-than-expected growth in the third quarter and downward revisions to GDP statistics for the first half of the year," the Commission said. 

"Influenced by the lower carry-over from 2018 and the less favourable outlook for global demand, Ireland's GDP growth is forecast to moderate to 4.1% in 2019 and 3.7% in 2020," he added.

The predicted 4.1% growth rate puts Ireland in joint second highest place in the EU along with Slovakia. Malta is forecast to have the highest growth in 2019 at 5.2%.

The Commission said the economic outlook remains clouded by uncertainty, mainly due to the terms of the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

"As a highly open economy, Ireland is also particularly exposed to changes in the international taxation and trade environment. The huge impact of the often unpredictable activities of multinationals, could drive headline growth either up or down," it added.