Mitterlehner expects strong 2010 economy

People’s Party (ÖVP) Economy Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner has said the Austrian economy will prove think tanks wrong by growing stronger than predicted.The Institute for Economic Research (WIFO) and the Institute for Higher Studies (IHS) said earlier this year they expected the country’s economy – still considered to be in a fragile condition after the global recession – to grow by 1.2 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said recently it expected the Austrian economy to grow by 1.5 per cent year on year in 2010.But the minister said today (Weds): “I’m confident the Austrian economy will do better this year. I expect a stronger year on year improvement than 1.5 per cent.”Mitterlehner however also said an annual two per cent rise was “unlikely”.These estimations come just days after federal statistics agency Statistik Austria revealed the country’s economy suffered the biggest post-war year on year decline last year as the Austrian gross domestic product (GDP) dropped by 3.9 per cent compared to 2008.Meanwhile, the Austrian trade industry – a key factor for the well-being of the country’s economy – is showing signs of recovery as foreign trade businesses reported a 13.6 per cent improvement in export rates last April compared to the same month in 2009.