Austrian GDP edges up

The Austrian economy is continuing to recover from effects of the global downturn, new figures confirm.The Institute for Economic Research (WIFO), a Viennese think tank, said today (Tues) that the Austrian gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the previous quarter of the same year.WIFO explained that the economy’s productivity increased thanks to more exports carried out in the final three months of last year. The value of goods shipped abroad improved by 1.4 per cent from the third to the fourth quarter of 2010. The value of Austrian firms’ imports edged up by 0.8 per cent at the same time, according to estimations by WIFO.It was announced earlier this month that companies in Austria exported goods worth 99.87 billion Euros between January and November 2010. Imports carried out in that period were worth 103.43 billion Euros.WIFO said today that the Austrian construction sector shrank by 0.9 per cent from the third to the final quarter of past year due to less demand.The think tank announced in December that it expected the Austrian economy to grow by 2.2 per cent year on year in 2011 and by two per cent the following year.The Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS), Austria’s other leading think tank, announced that the Austrian GDP will rise by 2.1 per cent this year compared to 2010 and by 2.3 per cent year on year in 2012.The country’s economy was hit badly by the credit crunch in 2009 when the GDP declined by 3.9 per cent compared to the previous year. Most business sectors have however managed to recover from the effects of the crisis again.News that just 4.8 per cent of Austrians were out of work last year seem to confirm that the country weathered the crisis comparably well. Austria and the Netherlands are neck and neck for the lowest unemployment rate among the European Union’s (EU) 27 member states.