Moody's Investors Services says it has upgraded Ireland's credit rating by two notches.

The ratings service says Ireland's economy has picked up momentum in the past few months and should grow considerably faster than the average among countries using the euro currency. It says Ireland's improving real estate market has also significantly reduced the government's contingent liabilities.

It raised Ireland's rating further into investment grade to Baa1 from Baa3 late Friday.

Ireland had to be rescued by an international bailout after it faced economic ruin in 2010, when the cost of a bank-rescue program destroyed its ability to borrow at affordable rates. But it has since regained its financial independence and repaired its fiscal reputation by exceeding a series of deficit-cutting targets and avoiding both labor unrest and protracted recession.