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Austrian businesses issue recession warning

The situation will deteriorate over the coming winter, an industry group has predicted

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Austrian businesses should prepare for a recession this year and should not expect economic growth until the spring, the Federation of Austrian Industries warned last week.

Speaking at a press conference, federation secretary general Christoph Neumayer cautioned that “from a macroeconomic point of view, the signs to date point to a prolonged phase of economic stagnation,” as quoted by Austrian news outlet OTS. He added that industries should brace themselves for a recession “with a view to the winter half-year (October to March).” 

Neumayer suggested implementing targeted measures to attract private-sector investment, similar to steps taken by the Austrian government during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The federation’s chief economist, Christian Helmenstein, added that all economic indicators are currently looking gloomy, and warned that “the situation will initially deteriorate further before, at best, it will pick up again next spring.” 

The comments came as the Federation of Austrian Industries presented the results of a survey conducted among more than 430 companies, to assess their view of the current environment and gauge expectations.

Austria to keep buying Russian gas, energy giant says

The indicator of the so-called economic barometer, calculated as a weighted average of positive and negative assessments of the current business situation and its development in the next six months, dropped to zero points compared to a previous value of +10.7.

Austria and the EU as a whole faced an economic crisis last year due to a dramatic rise in energy prices and the economic fallout from Western sanctions against Russia.

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