March 26, 2014 / 1:32 PM / 6 years ago

Austrian economy to gain momentum in first half - central bank

VIENNA, March 26 (Reuters) - 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 quarter.

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)

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