Economic Development Remains Moderate in the Second Quarter of 2019

31.07.2019

WIFO Flash Estimate: GDP Rose by 0.3 percent

According to the current WIFO Flash Estimate, GDP in Austria grew by 0.3 percent in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the previous quarter. Consumer demand once again proved to be a stable pillar of growth. In addition to business investments, foreign trade also made a positive contribution to overall economic growth, although its dynamic lost momentum. At the same time, the industrial economy weakened further.
In the second quarter of 2019, Austrian GDP grew by 0.3 percent compared to the previous period. Thus, the moderate economic development of the previous quarters continued slightly weakened (first quarter of 2019 +0.4 percent, fourth quarter of 2018 +0.5 percent). Unadjusted GDP was 1.7 percent higher than in the previous year. The seasonally and workday-adjusted GDP change rate (key-figure according to Eurostat) was 0.2 percent.

Growth was driven by both domestic demand and foreign trade, with consumer spending making the strongest positive contribution to growth. Private consumer demand (including non-profit institutions serving households) increased strongly in the second quarter (+0.5 percent), while public consumption expenditure expanded slightly weaker at 0.3 percent. As in the first quarter, overall consumer demand rose by 0.4 percent.

Business investment has increased, although the pace has slowed. The demand for gross fixed capital formation, which includes equipment, buildings and other fixed assets, expanded by 0.5 percent (first quarter +0.8 percent).

Foreign trade also slowed recently. Exports increased by 0.5 percent (after +0.9 percent in the first quarter). However, with a slightly weaker increase in imports (+0.4 percent after +0.7 percent), foreign trade once again made a positive contribution to overall economic growth.

The industrial economy also continued to lose momentum, mirroring the slowdown in exports. Value added in manufacturing fell by 0.1 percent (first quarter +0.1 percent). The construction industry, on the other hand, continued to record a good economy. Value added rose by 0.3 percent, after +0.5 percent in the first quarter. Positive impetus also came from the service sectors. Market services grew by 0.6 percent, while accommodation and food service activities expanded strongly by 1.1 percent. Value added in wholesale and retail trade increased by 0.4 percent.

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Sandra Bilek-Steindl

Research groups: Macroeconomics and European Economic Policy
© Ant Rozetsky/Unsplash
© Ant Rozetsky/Unsplash