Austria: Economy maintains solid momentum
August 16, 2011
In the second quarter, GDP expanded a seasonally and working-day adjusted 1.0% over the previous quarter, according to a preliminary estimate released by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) on 16 August. The expansion represented an improvement compared to the revised 0.8% increase observed in the first quarter (previously reported: +0.9% quarter-on-quarter). A year-on-year comparison, however, showed that economic growth slowed from 4.2% in the first quarter to 3.7% in the second quarter. According to the Institute, the second quarter expansion was mainly driven by the external sector, as exports slowed less markedly than imports. Exports of goods and services expanded 1.8% in the second quarter (Q1: +2.2% qoq), while imports increased only 0.8% (Q1: +2.1% qoq). Private consumption increased 0.2% over the previous quarter, matching the pace observed in the first quarter, while gross fixed investment slowed from a 0.9% increase in the first quarter to a 0.6% expansion in the second. At the sector level, the quarterly improvement reflected a strong expansion in the industrial sector, particularly in manufacturing. Construction expanded 0.4% over the previous quarter (Q1: +0.3% qoq), marking two consecutive quarters of positive growth.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist