Austria: Economy contracts in fourth quarter
February 14, 2013
In the fourth quarter, GDP declined a seasonally and working-day adjusted 0.2% over the previous quarter, according to preliminary data released by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) on 14 February. The print contrasted the 0.1% increase observed in the third quarter and marked the first contraction recorded since the first quarter of 2010. Compared to the same period the previous year, GDP increased 0.4% in Q4, below the 0.6% expansion observed in Q3. The quarterly drop reflected a contraction in both private consumption (Q3 2012: 0.0% quarter-on-quarter; Q4 2012: -0.1% qoq) and government spending (Q3: -0.5% qoq; Q4: -0.3% qoq). Meanwhile, gross fixed investment remained flat over the previous quarter, which matched the reading recorded in the previous period. On the external front, the net contribution from the external sector to overall economic growth deteriorated, as exports deteriorated more than imports. Exports of goods and services dropped 0.1% in Q4, which contrasted the 1.0% expansion in Q3. Imports followed suit and declined 0.1% in the final quarter, below the 0.4% increase seen in Q3. In its biannual economic outlook report for December, the Austrian National Bank (OeNB) expects the economy to expand 0.5% this year. For 2014, the Bank sees economic growth rising to 1.7%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist