WIFO-Konjunkturtest of December 2020

07.01.2021

Stabilisation of the Economic Assessments

The economic assessments of Austrian companies stabilised in December following the slump in November. The WIFO Business Climate Index rose by 4.6 points (seasonally adjusted) but remained in negative territory at –10.4 points. Companies assessed the current situation as almost unchanged from the previous month. The increase was mainly due to improvements in expectations, which arose in the course of the partial lifting of the tough restriction measures to combat the pandemic at the beginning of December.

The index of current assessments for the economy as a whole rose by 0.3 points in December (seasonally adjusted) to –12.8 points. Differences emerged across the sectors. In the service industries, the index fell by 4.2 points to –22.3 points, thus recording the second-lowest value ever observed. In the construction industry, on the other hand, the index rose significantly on a seasonally adjusted basis (+10.5 points) and, at 17.8 points, remains well above the zero line separating negative from positive assessments. For the manufacturing sector, the situation index rose by 4.0 points, but remained in the sceptical range at –7.7 points.

The expectations of Austrian companies improved across all sectors compared with the previous month. The index of business expectations rose by 9.0 points in December and stood at –7.9 points. In the construction industry, the expectations index rose by 5.1 points and remained above the zero line at 7.4 points. For the manufacturing sector, the expectation index also increased noticeably (+12.1 points), rising to –5.3 points. This puts the index in ranges last reached before the COVID-19 crisis in February 2020. The expectations index also rose in the service sectors (+7.6 points) but remained well in negative territory at –12.6 points. Despite improvements in the index, the majority of companies expects the economic trend to be dominated by COVID-19 in the first few months of the new year.

Publications

Ergebnisse des WIFO-Konjunkturtests vom Dezember 2020. Graphische Darstellung (Results of the WIFO-Konjunkturtest (Business Cycle Survey) of December 2020. Graphical Presentation)
WIFO Business Cycle Survey, 2020, (12), 10 pages
Supported by: European Commission, DG Economic and Financial Affairs
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Online since: 07.01.2021 14:00
Die Konjunktureinschätzungen der österreichischen Unternehmen stabilisierten sich im Dezember nach dem Einbruch im November. Der WIFO-Konjunkturklimaindex stieg um 4,6 Punkte (saisonbereinigt), lag jedoch mit –10,4 Punkten weiter im negativen Bereich.
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Werner Hölzl

Research groups: Industrial Economics, Innovation and International Competition
© Ahmed Elqsas/behance.net
© Ahmed Elqsas/behance.net