VIENNA, March 26 Austria's export-dependent
economy will keep gaining momentum in the first half of 2014 as
it accelerates out of the stagnation that lasted until the
middle of 2013, the Austrian National Bank said on Wednesday.
Rising exports helped the economy expand 0.3 percent in the
fourth quarter of 2013 compared with the previous quarter,
stripping out the impact of seasons and working days, it noted
in a quarterly report.
"Based on results of the (central bank's) business cycle
indicator, Austrian economic growth will continue to accelerate
and be 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent in the first two quarters of
2014," it said, issuing its first forecast for the second
The bank had said in a January report that it expected
growth of 0.5 percent in the first quarter.
The central bank has forecast that the economy will expand a
real 1.6 percent this year and 1.9 percent in 2015, in line with
estimates from other researchers.
(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Hugh Lawson)