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Austria faces deepest recession since World War II

Vienna, June 27 (IANS) Austria's economy is set to register its deepest recession since the World War II as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The decline in the country's economic output in 2020 would be significantly greater than the during and after the financial and economic crisis of 2008-2009, the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) said on Friday, adding that it is still uncertain whether a second wave of infections would hit.

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The Vienna-based Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) anticipated a 9.5 per cent year-on-year decline in Austria's GDP in the first half of 2020, reports Xinhua news agency.

Both institutes said that the economic downturn would be devastating for the labour market.

The prolonged improvement in Austria's employment numbers ended abruptly in March and since then the unemployment rate has risen significantly, the WIFO said, expecting the employment rate to drop by 2.1 per cent in 2020.

The IHS said it expected a 2.5 per cent decline in employment.

Due to the global recession, Austria's exports are slumping this year by 14.8 per cent, the WIFO said, while goods exports alone are falling by 13.5 per cent.

The IHS forecast an 11.3 per cent decline in total exports this year.

Both economic forecasts assume that no second wave of the virus will hit Austria this autumn.

Austria has so far reported 17,522 COVID-19 cases, with 698 deaths.

–IANS

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