Economic Expectations Become More Confident

WIFO-Konjunkturtest (Business Cycle Survey) of February 2022
The results of the WIFO-Konjunkturtest (business cycle survey) for February show an improvement in sentiment among Austrian companies. The WIFO Business Climate Index stood at 15.8 points (seasonally adjusted), 2.9 points above the value of the previous month (13.0 points).

Although the restriction measures still in place in February, supply bottlenecks and the rise in energy prices dampened the increase in current situation assessments, the companies are more optimistic about the coming months and expect an improvement in economic momentum.

The index of current situation assessments rose by 1.3 points in February and was in the confident range at 15.4 points. In retail trade, the situation index deteriorated slightly (–0.4 points) and remained negative at –3.5 points, as in previous months. In construction, too, situation assessments declined slightly (–0.6 points). However, at 40.6 points, the index remained very high in the confident range. In services there was an improvement (+1.6 points). At 11.0 points, the index was clearly above the zero line. In the manufacturing sector, the index also improved (+2.1 points). The situation index remained in positive territory at 20.8 points.

The index of business expectations rose markedly in February (seasonally adjusted) (+4.4 points) and at 16.3 points was clearly above the zero line separating negative from positive economic expectations. In the retail sector, the expectations index fell again at –9.0 points after the previous month's increase (–2.5 points) and was in negative territory below the long-term average. In the service sectors the index rose significantly by 8.1 points and was again noticeably in the growth range at 17.0 points. In the construction industry, too, the expectations index rose (+3.8 points) and – not least because of construction price expectations – was still at an above-average level of 40.0 points. In manufacturing, the expectations index (seasonally adjusted) changed slightly (+0.7 points) and remained in confident territory at 15.8 points.

Results of the WIFO-Konjunkturtest (Business Cycle Survey) of February 2022
Finalization: February 2022
Project partner Austrian Institute of Economic Research, Economic and Social Science Computing Center
Contractor project: European Commission
Specialist publication: WIFO-Konjunkturtest
Dr. Werner Hölzl
Industrial, Innovation and International Economics