Quarterly national accounts, based on the ESA 2nd edition concept, are for the first time available in Austria. Faced with a shortage of primary statistics that meet the quarterly demand in terms of prompt availability and accuracy, WIFO has developed an econometric model to estimate quarterly series. This IS-LM Model for small open economies (SMOE) with fixed exchange rates yields quarterly series for the entire demand side. Provisional estimates for current quarters will be a synthesis of the model's results and recent information from the supply side, for which reliable and quick data are available. WIFO plans to publish quarterly data within three months of the end of each quarter. Since key statistical data on the relevant quarter will necessarily take some time to collect, revisions will have to be made more frequently. A first glance at the original as well as seasonally adjusted data reveals that there are only modest fluctuations in quarterly GDP series. The greatest seasonal fluctuation can be found in investment in construction whereas import figures show the least erratic movement. In the first quarter of 1998 real GDP grew by 4.2 percent on a year-on-year basis. Seasonally adjusted GDP increased by over 1.4 percent over the previous quarter. Despite the crisis in the construction sector its real value added soared by 10.2 percent over the year, due to the mild climate. Manufacturing output (including mining) surged by 8.9 percent, caused by the brisk foreign demand as well as domestic investments. Exports of goods and services rose by 12.8 percent and gross fixed capital formation by 8.6 percent. So far, consumer spending has been muted, inching up by 1.2 percent in the first quarter.
Die neue österreichische Quartalsrechnung; The New Austrian Quarterly National Accounts
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