Austria: Economic activity gains momentum at the outset of the year
May 30, 2016
According to the revised data released by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) on 30 May, the economy gained momentum in the first quarter of 2016. GDP increased a revised seasonally-adjusted 0.5% in Q1 compared to the previous quarter (previously reported: +0.4% quarter-on-quarter), which marked an uptick compared to the results seen in Q4 and Q3 (0.3% and 0.2% qoq, respectively).
Q1’s acceleration was mainly supported by healthy growth in private consumption. Domestic demand data showed that private consumption increased a revised 0.3% in Q1 (previously reported: +0.2% qoq), which was faster than the 0.1% rise seen in Q4. Conversely, growth in government consumption was nearly halved, going from Q4’s 0.5% to 0.3% in Q1, which was the lowest result since Q4 2014. In addition, fixed investment tallied a revised 0.6% increase in Q1 (previously reported: +0.4% qoq), which was a notch faster than Q4’s 0.5% rise.
On the external side of the economy, exports of goods and services rose a revised 0.5% over the previous quarter (previously reported: +0.8% qoq), which came in below the 0.8% increase registered in Q4. Imports grew 0.7% in Q1 (previously reported: +0.9% qoq), decelerating from Q4’s 1.1% expansion. As a consequence, the net contribution of the external sector mirrored Q4’s result.
Compared to the same period last year, the economy grew 1.6% in Q1 (previously reported: +1.3% year-on-year), which was up from Q4’s 1.0% rise and marked the best result in over four years.