Austria: Economic growth slows in Q1
June 6, 2014
In the first quarter, GDP increased a seasonally and working-day adjusted 0.2% over the previous quarter, according to revised data released by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) on 6 June. The reading was revised down a notch from the 0.3% increase published in the flash estimate and was just half the growth rate tallied in the fourth quarter. Compared to the same quarter last year, GDP slowed from a 1.3% increase in Q4 to a 0.3% expansion in Q1, which was the slowest pace of growth in three quarters.
According to WIFO, domestic demand continued to expand in the first quarter, although growth was sluggish. Growth in private consumption maintained the weak pace observed in the fourth quarter, increasing a lackluster 0.1% in Q1. Government spending grew 0.4% over the previous period, which was slightly faster than the 0.3% expansion tallied in Q4. Both readings were in line with the flash estimate. Meanwhile, gross fixed investment showed flat growth in Q1 (Q4: -0.3% quarter-on-quarter), which was revised down a notch from the 0.1%increase previously estimated.
On the external front, exports of goods and services accelerated from a 1.3% increase in Q4 to a 1.5% expansion in Q1 (unrevised). Imports grew 0.6% in Q1 (previous estimate: +1.1% qoq) which was just below the 0.7% growth registered in the previous quarter. Consequently, the external sector’s net contribution to overall economic growth inched up from 0.4 percentage points in Q4 to 0.6 percentage points in Q1.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist