International Downturn Weighing On Domestic Activity. Economic Outlook for 2008 and 2009

Following an increase by 3.1 percent in 2007, economic growth in Austria will moderate to 2 percent this year. While demand and output in the first half of 2008 were clearly more dynamic than in the euro area as a whole, the momentum has slowed steadily since the beginning of the year. Confidence among domestic companies is receding. The cyclical downturn in the USA, high oil prices and exchange rate moves holding back export growth will continue to burden the economy in 2009. Real GDP is expected to advance by a modest 0.9 percent, overshadowing developments also on the labour market where employment growth will level off and the fall in unemployment turn around. The projections rest on the assumption that the adverse effects of the financial market crisis on the real economy will be contained.