VIENNA--Austria's economy grew slightly in the first quarter of 2012, the country's main economic forecaster WIFO said Friday upon publication of its monthly report, but it warned that the domestic economy could face weakness in the current quarter due in part to the flattening global economic growth.
Gross domestic product grew 0.3% on the quarter in the first quarter of 2012, WIFO said, revising up its previous 0.2% estimate from May 15th. All sides of the economy contributed to the increase, although trade and economic services were strongest, WIFO said in the report.
Private and public consumption both grew by 0.1% on the quarter. Investment continued to slow, up just 0.6% on the quarter in the first quarter, after growing 0.9% in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 1.0% in the third quarter. Exports also increased 0.4% on the quarter.
First quarter GDP increased 2.0% on the year, after growing 0.7% in the fourth and 2.4% in the third quarter. For 2011, Austria's GDP grew 3.0%, WIFO said.
The inflation rate based on the consumer price index was 2.3% in April, its lowest level since December 2010. Based on the harmonized consumer price index, the inflation rate was 2.4%, just below the 2.6% euro-zone average. WIFO noted price increases in housing, energy and water.
In May, Austria registered 231,100 unemployed, an increase of 9,700 compared with last year, but the unemployment rate as a percentage remained unchanged at 6.9% in May compared with April.