Austria: Robust economic growth in the first quarter of the year, despite a marginal slowdown
April 27, 2018
Last year’s strong economic momentum carried over into the new year, despite a slight moderation from the prior quarter. According to a flash estimate, the economy expanded 0.8% quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter, which was down slightly from the 0.9% increase in the final quarter of 2017.
The print was supported by robust domestic and foreign demand. Private and public consumption remained resilient, while fixed investment growth picked up pace. Household expenditure grew 0.3% quarter-on-quarter, which was down slightly from the prior quarter’s 0.4% growth, while government consumption growth increased from a revised 0.2% (previously reported: +0.6% quarter-on-quarter) to 0.3%. Fixed investment growth, meanwhile, remained resilient despite a marginal deceleration from a revised 0.9% expansion (previously reported: +1.0% qoq) to 0.8%.
The external sector also made a positive contribution to the Austrian economy despite a noticeable slowdown in export growth. Exports grew 0.8% over the previous quarter, which was down from a revised 1.7% increase in Q4 (previously reported: +1.8% qoq). However, the pace of expansion in imports also slowed to 0.5%, which was down from a revised 0.9% expansion in the fourth quarter (previously reported: +1.7% qoq).
Finally, in year-on-year terms, the economy grew a strong 3.1% in the first quarter, matching the revised print seen in the prior quarter (Q4 previously reported: +2.8% year-on-year). The first-quarter result suggests that the Austrian economy continues to enjoy a strong run, and it is expected to remain resilient in the remaining quarters of this year, despite moderating somewhat.
Austria GDP Forecast
FocusEconomics panelists project that the economy will grow 2.5% in 2018, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate. For 2019, panelists expect the economy to grow 2.0%.
Author: Jan Lammersen, Economist