Austria: Economic growth remains robust in the second quarter thanks to solid private consumption
July 31, 2018
Austria’s economy continues to enjoy solid momentum, according to a flash estimate released by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research on 31 July. Economic activity expanded 0.7% quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter, marginally down from the 0.8% growth in the first quarter of the year.
The print was driven by broad-based growth, as the domestic economy and foreign demand remained robust. Private consumption growth inched up to 0.5% over the previous quarter (Q1: +0.4% quarter-on-quarter), while public consumption growth was stable at 0.3%. On the other hand, fixed investment growth slowed fractionally from 1.3% in the previous quarter to 1.2% in the second quarter.
According to the press release, the external sector contributed positively in Q2 on the back of resilient export growth, which came in at 0.9% quarter-on-quarter (Q1: +1.0% qoq). However, the extent of the external sector’s contribution is hard to quantify, as the press release only mentioned softer import growth (Q1: +0.5% qoq), choosing to omit the growth rate for imports.
Lastly, year-on-year growth came in at 2.3% in the second quarter. Although still robust, the print is markedly below the first quarter’s 3.4% expansion—it is worth noting that the previous quarter’s result was a multi-year high. All said, the Austrian economy looks set to record another year of strong, albeit slightly slower, growth. Based on the preliminary second quarter result, the average reading in the first half of the year is trending close to that recorded in the same period a year ago.
Author: Jan Lammersen, Economist