Ireland passes key stress test

IRELAND yesterday said it had passed a crunch review of its economic progress by creditors without any penalty and ratings agency Fitch upgraded its outlook in some rare good news for the debt-ridden country.

“The troika [EU, IMF and ECB team] have informally signed off on the first quarter,” finance minister Michael Noonan said. The central bank cut its economic growth forecast for 2011 from one to 0.9 per cent. But ratings agency Fitch left Ireland’s sovereign rating at BBB+, upgrading its outlook from ratings watch negative to outlook negative, saying its economy was stablising.