First Quarter of 2024: Low GDP Growth with Subdued Construction and Industrial Activity

WIFO Flash Estimate
According to WIFO's latest Flash Estimate, Austria's economic output expanded slightly again in the first quarter of 2024: +0.2 percent compared to the previous quarter. While the industrial economy remained weak once again and almost stagnated, momentum in consumer-related services was positive. On the demand side, private consumer demand supported the economy, while investment demand declined once again.

According to initial calculations, GDP rose by 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the previous period (key figure according to Eurostat). This was the first slight increase after GDP had stagnated or declined in three previous quarters (fourth quarter 2023 0.0 percent, third quarter 2023 ‑0.3 percent, second quarter 2023 ‑1.3 percent). In a year-on-year comparison, this represents a decline of 1.3 percent compared to the first quarter of 2023.

The industrial and construction sectors remained subdued, with industry (NACE 2008, sections B to E) continuing to bottom out: First quarter of 2024 ‑ 0.3 percent, fourth quarter 2023 ‑0.1 percent, third quarter 2023 ‑1.4 percent. In construction, on the other hand, the decline continued: ‑1.1 percent after ‑0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Consumer-related services, on the other hand, developed positively. In trade, transportation, accommodation and food service activities (NACE 2008, sections G to I), value added increased by 0.8 percent. Other economic services (NACE 2008, sections M and N), on the other hand, fell again by ‑0.7 percent as a result of the subdued construction and industrial sectors.

On the demand side, private consumer demand supported the business cycle. Consumer demand from private households (including non-profit organisations) expanded by 1.3 percent. Gross fixed capital formation (‑2.7 percent) was again not expanded.

External economic momentum declined in the first quarter. However, at ‑0.3 percent, exports fell less than imports (‑1,5 percent), meaning that their development supported GDP.

Important information:

The WIFO Flash Estimate is an initial estimate for the past quarter. It is based on Statistics Austria's quarterly accounts and includes GDP as well as components in the form of seasonally and working day-adjusted rates of change compared to the previous quarter (key figure according to Eurostat specifications).

On 3 June 2024, Statistics Austria will publish the quarterly data for GDP and main aggregates for the first quarter of 2024 based on more complete data.