Austria: GDP growth remains robust in the final quarter of 2017
The Austrian economy continued to grow robustly towards the end of the year, with GDP growth coming in at 0.8% quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter, broadly unchanged from the prior quarter’s revised 0.9% growth rate (previously reported: +0.8% quarter-on-quarter). In annual terms, economic growth moderated slightly but remained resilient; the economy grew 2.8% year-on-year in the final quarter of 2017, down from the previous quarter’s revised 3.1% annual growth (previously reported: +2.6% year-on-year).
In the October–December period, economic growth was buttressed by robust private and government consumption, which grew 0.4% and 0.6% over the previous quarter, respectively. In the third quarter, private consumption growth came in at 0.4% qoq and government consumption growth came in at 0.5% qoq. Growth in fixed investment, however, slowed from a revised 1.3% qoq to 1.0% qoq in Q4.
In addition, a buoyant external sector supported the economy in the fourth quarter, as the quarter-on-quarter pace of growth of exports increased from 1.3% in Q3 to 1.8% in Q4. Import growth also picked up pace, from 1.2% qoq in Q3 to 1.7% qoq in Q4. However, as exports slightly outpaced imports, the external sector made a positive contribution to economic growth, suggesting that Austria is benefitting from a pick-up in EU economies.