Austria: GDP improves in Q4
February 14, 2014
According to preliminary data released by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), GDP increased a seasonally and working-day adjusted 0.3% over the previous period in Q4. The reading improved over the 0.2% expansion recorded in Q3 and marked the fastest pace since Q1 2012. Compared to the same period of the previous year, GDP accelerated from a 0.5% increase in Q3 to a 0.9% expansion in Q4.
Q4's result reflected a broad-based improvement. Private consumption grew 0.1% over the previous quarter (Q3: 0.0% quarter-on-quarter) and government spending increased 0.4% (Q3: +0.3% qoq). Meanwhile, gross fixed investment increased 0.1% in Q4, matching the pace observed in Q3.
On the external front, exports of goods and services accelerated from a 0.1% increase in Q3 to a 0.4% expansion in Q4. Conversely, imports grew 0.1% in Q4, which was below the 0.4% growth registered in the previous quarter. Consequently, the external sector's net contribution to overall economic growth improved from minus 0.2 percentage points in Q3 to plus 0.2 percentage points in Q4.
Based on quarterly data, the economy increased 0.3% in the full year 2013. The reading came in below the 0.9% expansion tallied 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 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