U.S. Markets closed

Irish Finance Minister says 2014 budget to cut deficit to 4.8 percent

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland's 2014 budget will cut the country's deficit to 4.8 percent of gross domestic product, below the 5.1 percent maximum agreed with its EU-IMF bailout lenders, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Saturday.

"The government took the view that we needed to have a deficit in the high fours so ... that we have a sufficient buffer in the event of international shocks," Noonan said in a speech three days before he is due to unveil his 2014 budget.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)