The recovery of the global economy continues, although the recovery process is uneven. Phases of strong growth are interrupted by setbacks. Differences can also be noted across countries. While the USA and Japan saw growth rebound rapidly in the fourth quarter, the EU experienced a temporary slackening. However, indicators in all major economic areas show a trend towards improvement. But signs of a self-sustaining stabilisation are still lacking so far. The stimulus spurring growth still emanates from government measures. Austria's economy grew by 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter, hence only little less than during the previous period. The tense labour market situation stabilised temporarily in late 2009. However, employment declined and unemployment began to rise again in January due to the cold weather.