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Austrian economy “will continue to grow above EU average”

The period between 2007 and 2011 will see Austria’s economy continue to grow more strongly than the average predicted for the eurozone countries, an Austrian think tank said Friday.

In its mid-term forecast, the IHS institute (Institute for Advanced Studies), a leading research centre, predicted an average real GDP growth of 2.6% slightly above the 2.5% growth for the whole EU. The average growth rate for the eurozone countries for the 2007- 2011 time frame is 2.25%.

Austria’s above-average growth rates represent a trend continuing from the past five years, an IHS representative told a press conference. Growth rates are, however, expected to decline over the years. While Austria’s GDP is expected to grow by 3.1% in 2007 this rate is will only reach to 2.2% by 2011.

The strong growth will also continue to positively influence Austria’s job market. The IHS foresees a decline unemployment rates by 0,8% to 6%, according to national calculation methods, by 2011. Exports remain a major growth factor as are investment buffered by private consumption and domestic demand. The positive outlook could still be dampened by rising oil prices or a continued weakness of the US economy, the IHS said. (