Sluggish Recovery in 2003. Economic Outlook for 2003 and 2004

The Austrian economy grew by slightly less than 1 percent in 2002. For 2003, only a gradual recovery of activity should be expected, given the subdued business climate world-wide. GDP growth for Austria, as well as for the euro area, is projected at 1¾ percent, below the medium-term trend. Expectations of firms and consumers are brightening up only slowly, as risks on international financial, real estate and energy markets remain high. The weak momentum of the recovery will prevent both unemployment and the budget deficit from falling in 2003.