Cyclical Recovery Continuing
The results of the WIFO business cycle survey show that sentiment in the manufacturing and construction sectors has brightened markedly in the first quarter of 2006. Production output and export figures are displaying a modest up-ward tendency. But there is no indication yet of a rebound in investment activity, despite favourable framework conditions. This becomes apparent by the decline in imports of capital goods and a slowdown of wholesale trade. Investment intentions have improved, however, according to the WIFO investment survey. Business continues to be subdued for those sectors of the economy that are largely dependent upon private consumer demand. On their latest reading, retail sales were around 1.5 percent higher in volume year-on-year, car sales were markedly lower. Un-favourable labour market conditions are a major factor restraining consumers in their decision to buy a new car. The number of persons employed is indeed rising significantly, but the increase continues to be limited principally to part-time jobs. The number of unemployed persons reached a new peak in January.
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Volume (Year): 11 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
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