For 2011, the Institute for Advanced Studies (Institut für höhere Studien; IHS) and the Institute for Economic Research (Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, WIFO), both renowned Austrian research institutions in the field of economics, are expecting an increase in real gross domestic product of 2.1% or 2.2%, respectively. Thus, economic output would turn in a performance similar to 2010, for which the Institutes had forecast a growth rate of 1.9%/2.0%. The Austrian export economy in particular, which benefited from the improved global economic situation, was caught up in the 2010 upward trend.
Private household consumption will have a stabilising effect on growth in 2011 as well, but will show only scant momentum. Rising commodity prices on world markets and an increase in selected indirect taxes might lead to an increase in the inflation rate of 0.2 or 0.4 percentage points. The calculations also allow for the conclusion to be drawn that employment will once again increase. As the labour supply also expands, the unemployment rate will decrease at most minimally.
In its economic outlook for the Eurozone, the WIFO assumption is for muted growth over the next few years, with stronger growth expected for Central and Eastern Europe. IHS also expects an acceleration of economic growth in the CEE region. Thus, for example, the economy in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia is expected to pick up speed in 2011 or to turn positive.
A look at the overall picture makes it clear how different the economic situation is in the individual countries. According to IHS calculations, Romania was faced with a decline in economic output of 2% in 2010, while Slovakia recorded an increase of about 4%. In 2011, growth rates of the countries in Central and Eastern Europe should move closer together again.
In general it can be assumed that the economic recovery process in the CEE region will continue over the next few years although, it is presumed, not at the same rapid pace as before 2008. Those countries in which the crisis was still having strong after-effects in 2010 will gain momentum and the region will recover over the long term.