Page 105 - KELAG Annual Report 2017
P. 105

in  2017.  According  to  current  projections,  growth  is
                                                                  expected to be around 2.5% in 2018 as well. The Austrian
                                                                  economy is expected to grow an average of 2.0% per year
                                                                  from 2018 to 2022, according to current projections by the
                                                                  WIFO  (Austrian  Institute  for  Economic  Research)  for  the
                                                                  medium term. That is 1.25 percentage points more than in
                                                                  the years of weak growth from 2012 to 2016.

                                                                  The economy’s growth coupled with labour market policies
                                                                  paves the way for employment to increase above the labour
                                                                  supply in Austria up to and including 2019, thus lowering
                    The  global  economy,  particularly  global  trade,  gained   the  unemployment  rate.  According  to  calculations  by
                    significant momentum at the turn of the year 2016/2017.   Eurostat, the unemployment rate was around 5.6% in 2017.
                    Nine years after the onset of the financial and economic   A further decline to 5.5% is expected for 2018.
                    crisis, the ensuing sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone and
                    the recession in several commodity-exporting nations, the   The environment of slightly increasing prices for petroleum
                    situation  in  the  industrialised  nations  as  well  as  in  the   products  and  growing  economic  momentum  is  likely  to
                    emerging nations steadily returned to normal.   push prices up further. An inflation rate of almost 2.0% on
                                                                  average is anticipated in Austria for the period from 2018 to
                    Economic growth also remained high in the majority of EU   2022.
                    states  and  in  the  euro  zone  in  2017.  Current  estimates
                    project annual economic growth in the euro zone for 2018
                    to  be  around  2.1%,  following  2.2%  in  2017.  The  rate  of
                    inflation  in  the  euro  zone  increased  considerably  at  the
                    beginning of 2017 mainly due to the rise in energy prices
                                                                  Electricity  consumption  throughout  Austria  increased  by
                    and  was  around  1.4%  at  the  end  of  2017. The  European
                                                                  1.4% on the prior year to a total of 71.1 TWh in 2017. On the
                    Central  Bank  plans  to  reduce  the  volume  of  its  bond
                                                                  production side, there was again an increase in renewable
                    purchase program as of 2018. The key interest rate of the
                                                                  energy in Austria. For instance, the installed wind power
                    European Central Bank has been at a historic all-time low of
                                                                  capacity increased by 196 MW to the current 2,844 MW.
                    0.0% since March 2016. In the medium term, economists
                    and  financial  experts  assume  that  the  yield  curve  will
                                                                  Natural  gas  consumption  nationwide  increased  in  the
                    successively  rise  owing  to  increasing  inflation  rates  and
                                                                  reporting period by 12.0% in comparison to 2016. This is
                    moderate  fears  about  the  economy.  In  a  historical
                                                                  due  to  the  slightly  cooler  weather  conditions  in  some
                    comparison, the general level of interest rates is expected
                                                                  months of the year as well as the increased use of gas power
                    to remain very low.
                                                                  stations.
                    In  the  robust  international  climate,  there  is  a  continuing
                                                                  Prices  on  the  international  fuel  markets  continued  to
                    economic  upswing  in  the  export-orientated  Austrian
                                                                  recover from their lows in 2016.
                    economy, which is currently in a phase of expansion driven
                    by both domestic and foreign demand. The pace of growth
                    in real GDP picked up in 2016 to 1.4% and was around 2.8%
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