Recovery Gets Stuck in Western Austria. Economic Situation in the Länder in the First Quarter of 1997
While the economy in general was slowly recovering, hesitant industrial development in the western Länder and their crisis-prone winter sports industry combined to make them fall further behind the general trend. In the south, the secondary sector enjoyed a steep upswing. In the dynamic eastern region, the momentum for growth strengthened in most sectors, except in Vienna which remained in a slump. The economic upswing, abated by lagging domestic demand, continued in the first quarter of 1997 fueled by export growth. The momentum for growth was weakest in the western parts of Austria and strongest in its eastern Länder. The main regions showed some variations in their economic development, depending more on the recovery of the industrial sector than their geographical situation. The south, while experiencing a similarly rapid growth of industrial production as the east, recovered at a slightly lesser pace in some of its service industries. As opposed to the homogeneous south, recovery in the eastern region was two-tracked, as Vienna had not yet overcome the slump and lost some momentum due to relocations. The suburban areas in the South of Vienna strengthened its market position in trade, and for the civil service the process of relocating the Lower Austrian government to its new capital was nearing its end. The situation was quite different in the western region, where the pace of recovery differed greatly between industries and in some cases is already slowing to a halt. The industry's failure to achieve a sustained upswing affected the development in the transport and communications sectors and producer services. In the west the recovery was also checked by the development in the tourist industry which is increasingly suffering from structural problems even in the winter season. Retail sales, already weak because of lower incomes, remained flat due to ebbing demand from tourists and the drainage of purchasing power to neighbouring foreign countries. For the utilities and the construction industry, production conditions were primarily governed by the weather. The construction companies, already stagnant, found that their season started considerably later in the alpine parts of Austria than in the eastern region, while the utilities enjoyed excellent production conditions for their hydraulic power plants. In view of the fact that the GDP cannot at present be calculated because key official data are not available, only a rough estimate of regional economic development can be given. The progress of regional activities was determined principally by manufacturing and modified by services. In those Länder where production of manufactured goods achieved their best growth rates, the regional product increased at a better rate than the Austrian average. Burgenland, Lower Austria and Styria had an excellent across-the-board performance, with Burgenland the most dynamic and Styria slightly less so. Carinthia and Tyrol profited from a rapid upswing of their manufacturing sectors, which nevertheless had little impact on the services. Led by a stagnating industrial sector, most sectors in Upper Austria developed in parallel with Austria at large. The cyclical problems were most visible in Vienna, Salzburg and Vorarlberg, with hardly any expansion in many service industries as well as in manufacturing. The recovery has not yet reached Vienna and Salzburg, while an early upswing of Vorarlberg's physical goods production has since petered out. As a result, Vorarlberg ranked lowest among the Länder in its economic development.
Konjunkturerholung stockt im Westen Österreichs. Die Wirtschaft in den Bundesländern im I. Quartal 1997; Recovery Gets Stuck in Western Austria. Economic Situation in the Länder in the First Quarter of 1997
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