Austria: GDP growth decelerates in third quarter
November 15, 2011
In the third quarter, GDP rose a seasonally and working-day adjusted 0.3% over the previous quarter, according to a preliminary flash estimate released by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) on 15 November. The quarterly reading came in below the revised 0.5% increase recorded in the second quarter (previously reported: +0.7% quarter-on-quarter) and represented the weakest expansion since the first quarter of 2010. Compared to the same period last year, GDP slowed from 3.9% in the second quarter to 2.6% in the third quarter. The third quarter result reflected a deceleration in gross fixed investment, which expanded 0.6%, well below the 1.1% increase observed in the second quarter. Meanwhile, private consumption grew 0.3% in the third quarter, following an expansion of the same magnitude in the second quarter. Meanwhile, government consumption halved from a 0.4% increase in the second quarter to a 0.2% expansion in the third quarter. Exports of goods and services increased 0.6% in the third quarter, which was slower than the 1.1% increase recorded in the second quarter. Export growth in the third quarter marked the slowest pace in two years. In addition, imports grew 0.5% over the previous quarter, which came in well below the 1.3% increase in the second quarter. The external sector's net contribution improved slightly from a flat reading in the second quarter to plus 0.1 percentage points in the third quarter. The Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) expects GDP to grow 2.9% this year before slowing to 0.8% in 2012. The Central Bank expects the economy to expand 3.2% this year and 2.3% in 2012.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist