Irish debt upgraded by Moody's rating agency Moody's

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The credit rating agency Moody's has improved its outlook for Ireland's debt, grading the country as "stable".

Analysts raised their rating by two notches, from Baa3, to Baa1, citing Ireland's improved growth.

Until recently, Moody's classed Ireland's debt as "junk".

At the height of the eurozone debt crisis, Ireland was forced to accept a 67bn euro (£57bn) lifeline from European authorities and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

It left the bailout programme in December last year.

An upgraded mark means more investors can buy Irish debt.

In a statement, Moody's said the primary driver of the rating upgrade was "the significantly improved outlook for Ireland's medium-term debt trajectory".

It added that indicators show that "economic activity is gathering pace and that the one-off factors that held back export growth in 2012-13 are waning".

A recovery in the Irish property market and the country's improved credit position also impressed the agency.

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