Austria: Economy returns to growth in Q3
November 14, 2013
According to preliminary data released by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), GDP increased a seasonally and working-day adjusted 0.2% over the previous period in Q3. The reading came in above the revised flat growth recorded in Q2 (previously reported: +0.2% quarter-on-quarter). Compared to the same period last year, GDP accelerated from zero growth in Q2 to a 0.7% increase in Q3.
The third quarter improvement mainly reflects faster growth in government spending, which increased 0.4% (Q2: 0.2% qoq). Private consumption grew just 0.1% in Q3, which matched the result from Q2. Gross fixed investment contracted for the eighth consecutive quarter (Q2: -0.8% qoq; Q3: -0.3 qoq).
On the external front, exports of goods and services increased 0.2% in the third quarter, which was slightly below the 0.3% growth registered in the previous quarter. Imports growth held at the 0.1% tallied in Q2.
The Austrian National Bank (OeNB) expects the economy to grow 0.3% this year. For 2014, the OeNB sees economic growth at 1.5%. Meanwhile, the government sees the economy growing 0.6% this year and 1.3% in 2014.
FocusEconomics panelists are more optimistic overall than the Bank and project the economy to grow 0.4% in 2013, which is unchanged from last month's estimate. For 2014, panelists expect the economy to grow 1.5%, which is also unchanged from last month's projection.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist