February 28, 2017
According to more comprehensive data released by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) on 28 February, the economy grew at a stable pace in the final quarter of 2016. GDP increased a seasonally-adjusted 0.5% in Q4 compared to the previous quarter, in line with Q3’s GDP outturn and the flash estimate for Q4 released in mid-February.
Q4’s expansion was supported by steady growth in domestic demand. Private consumption grew 0.5% over the previous quarter, which was just below Q3’s 0.6% expansion—a multi-year high—but still above average. Government consumption growth inched up a notch, accelerating to 0.4% (Q3: +0.3% quarter-on-quarter). Total investment growth slowed slightly, falling to 0.9% after having grown 1.0% in Q3. Total investment was dragged down by sagging fixed investment growth, which was flat in Q4 (Q3: +0.2% qoq), although a rebuilding of inventories contributed to investment growth.
On the external side of the economy, exports of goods and services rose 0.1% qoq, which was on par with Q3’s increase. Imports grew 0.3% in Q4, also stable from Q3’s expansion. As a consequence, the net contribution from the external sector was slightly negative, costing the headline GDP figure 0.1 percentage points.
Compared to the same period last year, the economy grew 1.7% in Q4, which was above Q3’s 1.3% rise and represented the fastest pace of growth since Q3 2011. For 2016 as a whole, GDP growth came in at 1.5%, above the 1.0% seen in 2015.
Author: Christopher Mc Innes, Economist