Austria: GDP expansion in fourth quarter confirmed
March 11, 2014
In the final quarter of 2013, GDP expanded a seasonally- and calendar-adjusted 0.3% over the previous quarter according to revised data released by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) on 11 March. The reading matched the preliminary estimate and represented a slight improvement over the 0.2% expansion tallied in the third quarter. In annual terms, revised GDP growth figures showed that the economy expanded 1.1% over the same quarter of the previous year in Q4 (previous estimate: +0.9% year-on-year), marking an acceleration over the 0.5% increase observed in Q3. Q4's improvement in GDP reflected a pick-up in private consumption to 0.1% (Q3: +0.0% quarter-on-quarter); government spending kept the pace of expansion recorded in the previous quarter (Q3: +0.3% qoq). In addition, gross fixed investment increased 0.2% in Q4, which was up from the flat reading observed in Q3. Exports of goods and services increased 0.5% in the fourth quarter, which came in slightly above the 0.4% expansion observed in Q3. Imports growth accelerated from a 0.2% expansion in Q3 to a 0.6% increase in Q4. The external sector's net contribution to overall economic growth fell from 0.1 percentage points in Q3 to a flat reading in Q4. In the full year 2013, the economy expanded 0.4%, which was down from the 0.9% increase recorded in 2012. The Austrian National Bank (OeNB) expects the economy to grow 1.6% in 2014. For 2015, the OeNB sees economic growth picking up to 1.9%. FocusEconomics panelists are less optimistic and project the economy to grow 1.4% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's estimate. For 2015, panelists expect the economy to grow 1.8%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist