The first half of the 2020/2021 fiscal year (1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021) continued to be dominated nationally and internationally by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic challenges.
However, despite continued high infection rates and severe constraints in many countries, the global economy, on the whole, recovered well during the reporting period, although at very different regional levels, thanks to the extensive economic stimulus.
After the marked economic slump in 2020, the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS), the Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast a significant recovery in economic growth for the euro zone of around +4.3% for 2021 and in the bandwidth of +3.0% and +3.8% for 2022.
After a decline of -6.6% in 2020, Austrian institutes also expect a significant recovery of the Austrian economy in the next two years. In various restriction relaxation scenarios, the IHS and WIFO assume GDP growth of between +1.5% and +2.6% for 2021. The IMF is somewhat more optimistic at +3.5%. For 2022, a bandwidth for GDP development between +4.0% and +4.7% is expected as a result of the different scenarios. This recovery is expected to be accompanied by an inflation rate in the range of +1.8% to +2.0%.
For the Czech Republic market relevant to Energie AG Oberösterreich (Energie AG), an increase in the gross domestic product of between +3.0% and +4.2% is anticipated for the calendar year 2021. The year 2022 is expected to bring positive economic impetus in the range of +4.0% to +4.5%.
Uncertainty about the future course of the COVID-19 crisis limits the reliability of forecasts by economic research institutes on the future development of the economic situation. Beyond this, other geopolitical uncertainties, such as international trade conflicts or climate change, continue to influence the economic environment.
2) Sources: IHS (Institute for Advanced Studies): Forecast of the Austrian Economy, 2021 – 2022, 26 March 2021. IMF (International Monetary Fund): https://www.imf.org/, 26 April 2021. WIFO (Austrian Institute of Economic Research):Forecast for 2021 and 2022, 26 March 2021.