If an investor is looking to grab exposure to international markets, the Austrian government says that its country and exchange traded funds (ETFs) are a safe bet.

The Austrian Institute of Economic Research states the following reasons why Austria’s economy could be on the up-and-up:

  • Real GDP growth in Austria was 1.8% in 2008, far higher than the 1.0% average seen in the eurozone
  • GDP for 2009 is expected to decline by 2.2% in 2009, a smaller contraction than other eurozone nations, such as Germany.
  • Private consumption will be able to assume responsibility for cyclical stabilization because of impressive increases in real income of Austrians, reports Aba of Huliq News
  • The strong foothold established by Austria’s economy in the Central Eastern Europe (CEE) markets serves as a stabilizing factor
  • Risk in Austrian banks is widely spread and most banks are retail banks with high levels of primary funding from customers;  This means they finance loans from deposits and not on the basis of interbank financing

These are all attractive characteristics, however, one must still keep in mind that Austria is not immune to the global recession.  The nation’s GDP is expected to decline by 2.2% in 2009.  Additionally, one must watch the nation’s neighboring economies, because of their strong influences on Austria.

If you do want to grab exposure to Austria, take a look at the iShares MSCI Austria (EWO), up 13.8% year to date.

Kevin Grewal contributed to this article.

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.