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Austria: Economic and Employment Outlook

2011-02-04
by goinglobal.com

The World Factbook characterizes Austria as a well-developed European Union (EU) market
economy with a high standard of living. Austria’s economy boasts a large and robust service
sector, a strong industrial sector and a small but highly-developed agricultural sector. Austria’s
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) can be broken down into the service sector, representing 67.4
percent, industry sector at 30.6 percent and agriculture at approximately 1.9 percent. Austria’s
major industries include construction, industrial machinery, vehicles, food, metals, chemicals,
lumber and wood processing, paper, communications equipment and tourism. Major exports
include machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, paper, metal goods, chemicals,
iron and steel, textiles and food products.

Until 2008, Austria had enjoyed several years of economic growth, increasing demand for
its exports and record employment growth. However, the global economic downturn brought
the Austrian economy into a recession that lasted well into 2009. Austria’s GDP reflected
an economic pullback of 3.6 percent last year. The European Commission (EC) forecasts a
slow economic recovery for Austria, with a slight GDP increase of 1.3 percent in 2010 and 1.6
percent in 2011.

The Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) also predicts the economic recovery for
Austria will remain subdued. What growth Austria manages to gain will mostly be due to the
rebound of world trade and the upswing in Asia, as well as from the strengthening activity in
trading partner countries in Western Europe.

The most recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) is more optimistic, however, predicting the Austrian economy could grow by 1.4 percent
in the current year and by 2.3 percent the following year.

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