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WIFO Bulletin

WIFO Bulletin

The WIFO Bulletin is published online and focuses on

  • International and Austrian economic outlooks,
  • Recent economic developments,
  • Studies on European integration.

We offer subscriptions and single downloads. Subscription form

You may find all articles of the Bulletin's predecessor here:  Austrian Economic Quarterly

Recent issues(79 hits)

Marcus Scheiblecker, Strongest Economic Growth in Six Years. Economic Outlook for 2017 and 2018

WIFO Bulletin, 2017, 22(12), pp.111-122
   
After an acceleration of economic activity in the first half of 2017, latest business surveys do not suggest a further strengthening for Austria. GDP is expected to grow by 2.8 percent in 2017, the highest rate in six years. Despite the appreciation of the euro and a slowing growth momentum in third countries, the euro area should keep a firm upward trend in 2018, driven by the expansionary monetary policy of the ECB and a still untightened fiscal stance. The Austrian economy may grow in 2018 at the same rate as in 2017. From a cyclical perspective, further extension of the current expansionary fiscal policy would not be appropriate.
 
Online since: 02.11.2017 0:00

Marcus Scheiblecker, Highest Employment Growth in Austria Since 2008. Business Cycle Report of September 2017

WIFO Bulletin, 2017, 22(11), pp.104-110
   
The very strong employment momentum strengthened further in the summer. At the same time the economic indicators remained at very high levels, but did not improve any more; the growth rate appears to have reached its maximum. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, at 8.5 percent continues to be quite high, in view of this excellent state of the economy.
 
Online since: 19.10.2017 0:00

Thomas Url, Private Insurance Premium Income Declined in 2016

WIFO Bulletin, 2017, 22(14), pp.133-142
   
The volume of single premium payments (with long-run guarantees) almost halved in 2016. Positive effects of the tax reform were more than compensated by low interest rates, making private households increasingly shy away from contracts with long commitment periods. On the supply side, insurers were less willing to underwrite long-run guarantees. This caused premiums in the life insurance business to decline by 9 percent and the total premium intake to shrink by 1.8 percent. Robustly growing private health insurance (+4.7 percent) and a recovery in non-life and accident insurance (+1.7 percent) did not prevent a further drop of the insurance density to 4.9 percent of GDP. Forecasts for 2017 and 2018 expect that this development will continue, albeit at a slower pace. The first year of experience with Solvency II revealed some scope for interpretation across the member countries' supervisory bodies. Austrian insurers emerged from the stress test in 2016 with sufficient amounts of solvency capital.
 
Online since: 08.11.2017 0:00

Marcus Scheiblecker, Austria's Economy Grows Markedly Faster than the Euro Area Average. Business Cycle Report of August 2016

WIFO Bulletin, 2017, 22(10), pp.95-103
   
Economic activity in Austria is gaining further momentum. According to WIFO's latest Business Cycle Survey, business sentiment in some sectors in Austria is at an all-time high. Both manufacturing and construction as well as services companies currently report very buoyant business activity and are optimistic regarding their business outlook. In the second quarter, Austria was among the euro countries with the highest economic growth. Hence, labour market developments remained favourable. The global economy is also strengthening.
 
Online since: 08.09.2017 0:00

Klaus S. Friesenbichler, Werner Hölzl (WIFO), Kerstin Hölzl (Austrian Institute for SME Research), Cash-Flow-to-Sales Ratio 2016 Remains Stable at a High Level. Profitability of Austrian Manufacturing Sector

WIFO Bulletin, 2017, 22(13), pp.123-132
   
In 2015, the cash-flow-to-sales ratio of the Austrian manufacturing sector reached an estimated 9.2 percent, exceeding the previous year's ratio of 8.4 percent. The ratio is likely to have remained at that level in 2016. This increase in manufacturing profitability is due to the sector's sound economic growth performance. The sector's value added growth rate amounted to 1.7 percent in 2016 and 1.8 percent in 2015. According to further estimates of a dynamic, panel-econometric model at industry level, the cash-flow-to-sales ratio in manufacturing will continue its upward movement in 2017.
 
Online since: 08.11.2017 0:00

Stefan Schiman, Strong Stimulus from World Trade Fuelling Economic Activity in Austria. Economic Outlook for 2017 and 2018

WIFO Bulletin, 2017, 22(9), pp.82-94
   
The acceleration of world trade growth originating from East Asia has reached Austria in 2017. In addition, exports benefitted from clearing the investment backlog in East-Central Europe. While the external stimulus may ease somewhat in 2018, private consumption will continue to provide firm support to business activity. In spite of GDP growth projected at a solid 2.4 percent in 2017 (+2.6 percent when adjusted for calendar effects) and 2.0 percent in 2018, unemployment will likely remain rather high, as many vacancies are not filled by domestic jobseekers. The general government deficit narrows markedly in the current year, even if the fiscal stance on the revenue side remains expansionary.
 
Online since: 14.07.2017 0:00

Stefan Schiman, Employment Boom Raises Consumer Confidence, Impetus Provided by World Trade Boosts Exports. Business Cycle Report of June 2017

WIFO Bulletin, 2017, 22(8), pp.73-81
   
In the first quarter of 2017, the Austrian economy registered its strongest growth in six years. Private consumption remained a solid pillar of economic activity, while exports benefitted from strong impetus provided by emerging market economies, especially via the tight supply chains with Germany, and by East Central Europe. Unemployment declined as a result of the upswing that set in with the tax reform implemented in 2016, with strong second-round effects creating additional demand; consumer sentiment again caught up with that in Germany. Nevertheless, the labour market is faced with structural problems. The massive increase in labour supply brought about by opening the labour market for citizens from Eastern countries, the ageing of the labour force, and the implementation of pension reform measures contributed to an entrenchment of unemployment.
 
Online since: 14.07.2017 0:00

Margit Schratzenstaller, Fiscal Policy Facing Manifold Challenges. Federal Fiscal Framework 2017-2020 and Draft Federal Budget 2017

WIFO Bulletin, 2017, 22(7), pp.58-72
   
Demographic trends, the need for reinforcing expenditure in forward-looking domains, one-off incidents like the tax reform 2015-16, the current wave of refugee immigration, financial support for banks in distress (even if clearly less than in previous years) and – last, but not least – the necessity to unwind the jump in public debt in the wake of the recession 2008-09, pose severe challenges for fiscal policy. The general government deficit (in the Maastricht definition) is expected to abate to 1.2 percent of GDP in 2017, while the structural deficit may edge up to 0.9 percent of GDP. The government debt ratio has turned around in 2016, declining from 83.2 percent of GDP to a projected 76.6 percent by 2020. Subsidies for ailing banks pushed up the debt ratio by 11.3 percent of GDP at the end of 2016.
 
Online since: 14.07.2017 0:00

Sandra Bilek-Steindl, Confidence Indicators Near All-time Highs. Business Cycle Report of May 2017

WIFO Bulletin, 2017, 22(6), pp.50-57
   
A revival in global industrial activity is spreading from East Asia, intensified by the recovery in Russia and Brazil. It noticeably benefits Austrian exports and industrial production. Leading indicators suggest that the positive development will continue. Both national and international sentiment indicators have reached peaks not seen in several years.
 
Online since: 13.06.2017 0:00

Josef Baumgartner, Serguei Kaniovski, Update of the Medium-term Forecast for the Austrian Economy 2017 to 2021

WIFO Bulletin, 2017, 22(5), pp.43-49
   
Following the rather sluggish economic growth during the last years, demand and output growth in Austria is expected to accelerate in 2017. In the current year, GDP growth should attain 2 percent followed by an annual average 1.7 percent till 2021, which is broadly in line with the euro area average. Stronger activity will allow employment to expand by 1.6 percent in 2017 and by an average 1.3 percent p.a. over the forecast horizon. With labour supply growth temporarily abating, the unemployment rate should stabilise at 8.9 percent of the dependent labour force (national definition). After 2019, the jobless rate is likely to head up again, reaching 9.1 percent by 2021. Consumer price inflation should remain subdued over the entire period, at an annual rate of 1.8 percent, thereby significantly narrowing the inflation differential vis-à-vis the euro area. In view of the projected cyclical fluctuations and the underlying policy assumptions, general government finances are projected to balance, both in nominal (Maastricht) and structural terms by the end of the forecast period. General government debt, as percent of nominal GDP, is projected to head down as from 2016, by a total 12 percentage points to below 72 percent by 2021.
 
Online since: 13.06.2017 0:00

Contact persons

Michael Böheim

Michael Böheim

Function: Research staff member, Editor WIFO-Monatsberichte and WIFO Bulletin
Research groups: Industrial Economics, Innovation and International Competition

Ilse Schulz

Ilse Schulz

Function: Scientific administration staff member
Activities: Publications, Website, Subscriptions

Tamara Fellinger

Tamara Fellinger

Function: Administrative staff member
Activities: Publications, Website, Subscriptions

Tatjana Weber

Tatjana Weber

Function: Administrative staff member
Activities: Publications, Website, Subscriptions
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