Economic Assessments are Sceptical

Results of the WIFO-Konjunkturtest (Business Cycle Survey) of February 2024
The results of the WIFO-Konjunkturtest (business cycle survey) in February continue to show cautious economic assessments. At –9.8 points (seasonally adjusted), the economic climate index was 3.2 points below the previous month's value (–6.6 points) and remains in negative territory.

Situation assessments deteriorated slightly compared to the previous month. Economic expectations also deteriorated compared to January, signalling a pessimistic economic outlook. Demand for credit from companies fell slightly in February. Most companies continue to judge the banks' willingness to grant loans as restrictive.

The index of current situation assessments for the total economy fell by 1.4 points in February and was in negative territory at –6.7 points. In manufacturing, which is particularly important for the economy, the situation index lost 1.5 points and, at –22.1 points, remained well below the zero line that separates positive from negative situation assessments. In the construction industry, the situation index remained unchanged and was still in negative territory at –2.8 points. In the services sector, on the other hand, the situation index continued to lose growth momentum (–1.7 points), but remained just in positive territory with a value of 1.2 points. The situation index also fell slightly in the retail sector (–0.4 points) and was below the zero line at –3.7 points.

The index of business expectations for the total economy lost 4.9 points in February and, at –13.0 points, was once again noticeably below the zero line that separates negative from positive economic expectations. In the retail trade, the expectations index lost 1.2 points compared to the previous month and remained low at –18.3 points in the area of sceptical economic expectations. In the services sector, the expectations index fell significantly (–5.1 points) and was once again more clearly in negative territory at –7.1 points. Expectations also fell in the construction industry (–1.9 points). At –1.0 points, the index was below the zero line, with production and employment expectations in particular now being noticeably negative. In the manufacturing sector, the expectations index also deteriorated in February (–6.8 points). At –24.9 points, the index was low in the area of pessimistic economic expectations.


Dr. Werner Hölzl
Industrial, Innovation and International Economics