OeNB ups economic outlook

The Austrian National Bank (OeNB) said today (Fri) it expected the Austrian economy to grow by 2.1 per cent year on year.OeNB announced only in June that the country’s economy could improve by 1.8 per cent in 2011 compared to this year.The bank’s latest estimation is also more optimistic than recent predictions by Austria’s leading think tanks.The Institute for Economic Research (WIFO) said in September that the Austrian economy will grow by 1.9 per cent year on year in 2011, while the Institute for Higher Studies (IHS) predicted a two per cent improvement. The institutes will give their next economic outlook predictions a few days before Christmas.The European Commission (EC) announced last month that it expected the Austrian economy to improve by 1.7 per cent year on year in 2011, adding that the whole Eurozone – the 16 European Union (EU) members which have adopted the Euro – could expect a growth of only 1.6 per cent.OeNB also said today it expected the 2010 economy to grow by 1.9 per cent year on year. The bank estimated a 1.6 per cent improvement in June. According to OeNB, the Austrian economy will manage to grow by 2.3 per cent year on year in 2012.The bank, which is headed by former BAWAG boss Ewald Nowotny, said recovering export rates will “carry” the recovery. It said the value of exports could soar by 10.4 per cent year on year in 2010.European analysts said recently Austria and other EU member states will benefit from the German economy’s quick recovery. The country, the most powerful economy of the continent and one of the strongest in the world, has been the main import / export partner for a string of fellow EU members – including Austria – for decades.A recent report by Statistik Austria suggested that the Austrian trade sector is showing strong signs of a recovery. The authority’s investigation revealed Austrian firms exported goods worth 69.59 billion Euros this August, up by 15.3 per cent year on year. The value of imports jumped too. Statistik Austria said the value of goods shipped into the country in the month increased by 14 per cent year on year to 71.71 billion Euros.OeNB explained today it expected the Austrian unemployment rate to edge down by 0.2 per cent until 2012. Around 4.5 per cent of people living in Austria are currently out of work. Only the Netherlands have a lower rate in the EU at 4.3 per cent, whereas Spain is doing worst. More than one in five residents of the Iberian country currently have no job. Its youth unemployment rate ranges around a whopping 40 per cent.