Economic Activity Recovers Faster in the Eastern than in the Western Part of Austria
The upswing has firmed up in all regions of Austria. No major region is lagging behind, but in the West the rebound is weaker than in previous upturns. The stimulus provided by foreign demand has varied by region. Exports to the reform countries of East-Central Europe had a stronger impact on manufacturing than the upswing in West Germany. In contrast to earlier business cycles the upswing in manufacturing in the western provinces does not lead the general recovery. Growth in manufacturing output accelerated in all provinces (with the exception of Carinthia) against the previous quarter. Production is increasing in most branches; an important exception is the apparel industry which finds itself in a structural crisis because of strong competition from low-wage producers. The broad-based recovery has ensured a relatively balanced regional pattern. Summer tourism continues to suffer from structural problems. The decline in overnight stays dampened business activity in Carinthia and in the western provinces, especially in Tyrol. The dry summer impaired the output of hydro-electric power plants, with energy output most affected in the western provinces. The compensation for these losses by increased production by thermal power plants benefited Vienna's economy the most. Vienna's economy deviated from the regional pattern in manufacturing (modest growth) and in tourism (strong expansion in city tourism) as well. The boom in construction lost momentum; the value of construction put in place stagnated in four provinces (Vienna, Tyrol, Styria, Upper Austria). As employment expanded (fourth quarter: +0.9 percent change from four quarters earlier), unemployment fell (unemployment rate in the fourth quarter: 6.8 percent). The regional pattern of the labor market showed only small variation. In the third quarter 1994, gross value added in four provinces expanded faster than in Austria on average (+2.5 percent, excluding agriculture and forestry). In Burgenland (+5.0 percent) and in Styria (+3.0 percent) the most dynamic sector was manufacturing; in Lower Austria (+3.9 percent) and in Upper Austria (+2.8 percent) the upswing was mainly supported by the expansion in services. Economic activity rose at a less than average rate in Salzburg and Vorarlberg (+2.4 percent each). In Salzburg the mainstay of the recovery was manufacturing and producer-oriented services, in Vorarlberg construction and transportation. The lowest growth rates were recorded in Vienna (1.9 percent), Carinthia (1.8 percent), and Tyrol (0.5 percent). In Vienna, the weakness in manufacturing and producer-oriented services dampened economic activity; in Carinthia and Tyrol the sectors slowing the recovery were tourism and the energy sector.
Konjunktur belebt sich im Osten Österreichs rascher. Die Wirtschaft in den Bundesländern im III. Quartal 1994; Economic Activity Recovers Faster in the Eastern than in the Western Part of Austria
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