March 26, 2020 / 9:56 AM / 9 days ago

Austrian institutes expect economy to shrink in 2020 due to coronavirus

BERLIN, March 26 (Reuters) - Austria’s economy will likely shrink by 2.5% in 2020 even if lock-down measures to slow the coronavirus outbreak are eased in May and the situation returns to normal in the summer, the Wifo institute said on Thursday.

Wifo - which compiles data for the government - cut its 2020 inflation forecast to 1.3% from an earlier estimate of 1.5% and said it saw unemployment at 8.4% this year compared to a previous forecast of 7.4%.

The IHS institute on Thursday said Austria’s economy would shrink by at least 2% in 2020. “The institute expects a recession for Austria,” IHS said in a statement.

It said its forecast was associated with “major downside risks” as the depth of the economic downturn would depend on the scope of pandemic and the economic and health policy measures and their effectiveness. (Reporting by Riham Alkousaa)

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