While Austria’s exchange traded fund (ETF) generally has been a strong performer, it could be affected by a lower-than-expected increase in its gross domestic product (GDP). Austria’s GDP growth rate is likely to slow down to 2.4% in 2008 after reaching 3.4% in 2007, according to forecasts released by the Austrian Institute for Economic Research (WIFO). Vienna still is the hub for Eastern European commerce and growth in this region is expected to expand faster than most regions.
Peter Klopf for Financial News Limited reports that although Austria’s economy is benefiting from "excellent" growth in its export and investment levels in 2007, the worsening global economic conditions and current international financial crisis could keep this growth from developing into a longer-term economic boom, according to WIFO.
However, Austria and its exchange traded fund (ETF) benefit from the country’s strong commercial relationships with Eastern Europe. Austria has been getting a boost from its government’s economic reform program, which is aimed at streamlining the government and creating a more competitive business environment. If growth remains a priority, Austria could become more attractive to investors. The Austria ETF, iShares MSCI Austria Index (EWO), is up 5.8% year-to-date with about $471 million in assets.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.