DATASNAP: Austrian 1Q '09 GDP -2.8% On Qtr, -3.6% On Yr

DATASNAP: Austrian 1Q '09 GDP -2.8% On Qtr, -3.6% On Yr

By Flemming Emil Hansen


VIENNA (Dow Jones)--The contraction of Austria's economy accelerated significantly in the first quarter of 2009, mainly due to a drop in exports, the Austrian Institute of Economic Research, or Wifo, said Friday.

In its initial first-quarter estimate, Wifo said the small alpine nation's GDP fell 2.8% against the previous quarter and 3.6% on the year.

This compares with a contraction of 0.4% on the quarter, and a flat development on the year, in the fourth quarter of 2008, Wifo said, Friday, lowering its initial fourth-quarter estimates.

Wifo previously estimated the fourth-quarter economic development to a contraction of 0.2% on the quarter and growth of 0.3% on the year.

Wifo said the accelerating decline in Austria's economic output could be attributed to several factors, but mainly a drop in exports and lower investment levels.

Austrian exports fell 4.4% in the first quarter against the fourth quarter of 2008, while the country's gross investments fell 5.1%. In the fourth quarter, exports dropped 2.3% and investments by 1.7%, Wifo said.

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-By Flemming E. Hansen, Dow Jones Newswires; +43 1 513 69 22 10; [email protected]

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May 15, 2009 03:17 ET (07:17 GMT)

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