While economic activity had remained firm until early 1991 more recent data suggest a deceleration of growth. In March, both exports and industrial production were no higher than a year ago abstracting from calendar effects. Also, in the WIFO business survey of end April firms were more pessimistic than three months earlier. Domestic demand and tourism, on the other hand, still lend powerful support to activity. Retail sales in the first quarter rose 6 percent in volume year-on-year and orders to the construction industry are increasing. Receipts from foreign travel were substantially higher than in the previous winter season, keeping the current account in surplus. Inflation has stabilized at an annual rate of 3½ percent or less and the rise in employment of 2¼ percent is unabated.
Abschwächung der Export- und Industriekonjunktur; Exports and Industrial Output Pointing Downwards
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