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Josef Baumgartner, Serguei Kaniovski, Hans Pitlik, Stefan Schiman, Significantly Improved Growth Prospects. Medium-term Forecast for the Austrian Economy until 2022

WIFO Bulletin, 2017, 22(16), pp.155-172
Following the financial and economic crisis (GDP –3.8 percent in 2009) and the sluggish development in 2012-2015 (+0.7 percent p.a.), economic activity picked up significantly from mid-2016 onwards. For the years 2017 and 2018, the current forecast foresees an annual real GDP growth of 2¾ percent. In the medium term, an average growth of real GDP of 2 percent per year is expected (2013-2017 +1.2 percent p.a.), which is about ¼ percentage point higher than the average of the Euro area. The robust growth for the world economy has a stimulating effect on exports (+3.7 percent p.a.), which in turn has a positive effect on equipment investments. Private consumption is expected to increase by 1½ percent p.a. over the forecast period due to an increase in disposable income (2013-2017 +0.7 percent p.a.). The economic expansion combined with labour market policies ("Employment Bonus" and "Initiative 20,000"), will have a stronger positive effect on employment surpassing the dynamics of labour supply, resulting in a drop in unemployment. From 2020 onwards, labour supply is expected to again increase more strongly than labour demand, and as a result the unemployment rate is expected to rise from 8.0 percent in 2019 to 8.4 percent by the end of the forecast period. Inflationary pressure will remain moderate in the medium term, and the inflation differential to the Euro area average is expected to further decrease. The consumer price inflation will average of 1.9 percent p.a. On the basis of the projected business cycle and the assumed economic policy framework the overall government budget is expected to be balanced (both structurally and as defined according to Maastricht) from the middle of the forecast period onwards. As a result, the government debt ratio (total public debt as a percentage of nominal GDP) is projected to decline by around 17 percentage points to nearly 64 percent between 2017 and 2022.
Online since: 18.12.2017 0:00
Research group:Macroeconomics and European Economic Policy