According to the EU Commission, the prospects for the domestic economy have improved slightly due to the growing vaccination rates and opening steps in the coronavirus pandemic. She has raised her forecast again for at least 2021. This year the Brussels authority expects the gross domestic product (GDP) to rise by 3,4 percent. In her winter forecast she had only assumed an increase of 2 percent. Nevertheless, Austria is below the EU average.
The upswing for Austria is likely to continue in the coming year: the EU Commission is assuming 2022 percent growth for 4,3. However, this is an increase almost 1 percentage point lower than forecast in winter. "Activity in the tourism sector is expected to gradually recover over the course of the summer, but will still be slightly below pre-crisis levels by the end of 2022," the forecast reads.
According to the Brussels forecast, the eurozone economy is likely to grow by 4,3 percent this year and 2022 percent in 4,4. In the whole of the EU, GDP is expected to increase by 4,2 percent this year and 4,4 percent next year. According to the EU Commission, all EU states “should reach the pre-crisis level again by the end of 2022”.
Less optimistic just three months ago
In mid-February, the Commission set weaker values. At that time it was said that economic output in the EU would increase by 3,7 percent this year and by 3,8 percent in the euro zone. For 2022, 3,9 percent growth was forecast for the EU and 3,8 percent for the euro zone.
"The shadow of Covid-19 is slowly rising from the European economy," said EU Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni. The unprecedented financial aid remains important to support companies and employees. Deficits and indebtedness would therefore peak this year before they decrease again.
The EU Commission also sees a slight recovery in the domestic labor market for 2021 and 2022. After a decline of 1,7 percent last year, employment is expected to rise again in the coming years. According to calculations by the EU Commission, the unemployment rate will gradually decrease again: in 2021 to 5 percent and in 2022 to 4,8 percent.
Austria would thus be below the EU average: According to the forecast, the unemployment rate in the EU will be 2021 percent in 7,6 and 2022 percent in 7; In the euro zone in 2021 at 8,4 percent and in 2022 at 7,8 percent.
There are also improvements in the deficit. After a debt of minus 8,9 percent of GDP in 2020, a deficit of minus 2021 percent of GDP is expected in 7,6. This is due to the "improved macroeconomic environment and the expiry of temporary emergency measures," according to the forecast. In 2022, debt is expected to fall to minus 3 percent of GDP due to the “stronger GDP growth”.
Blümel praises "our crisis management"
According to Finance Minister Gernot Blümel (ÖVP), today's figures from the EU Commission show that “our crisis management worked well in the third wave”. "With the regional measures instead of another nationwide lockdown, we not only brought the pandemic under control, but also saved the business location from major damage," continued Blümel. He expects the economic situation to ease further through the gradual openings on May 19. (apa)