Weekly WIFO Economic Index

20.07.2021

WWWI: Calendar Week 27 2021

Weekly economic activity according to WWWI remained at the pre-crisis level in calendar week 27 (5 to 11 July 2021), an average week in 2019 as a fixed reference period, according to preliminary calculations. Compared to the same week last year, GDP is currently 6.6 percent higher.

The determinants of WWWI paint a mixed picture in calendar week 27. Cashless payment and credit card transactions increased moderately among contractors in the retail and accommodation sectors, whereas they declined slightly in the events and entertainment sector. Mobility continued to improve, with both passenger traffic at Vienna Airport and most of the Google Mobility indicators rising again. The picture remains favourable for industry. Temperature-adjusted electricity consumption increased again slightly compared with the previous week, both during the daytime and at night, and nitrogen dioxide emissions at measuring stations close to industrial sites declined somewhat. Unemployment in industry decreased once again. The transport indicators also show a heterogeneous development at the current edge. While truck mileage continued to decline, both rail freight and air freight data recorded renewed increases. Positive signals continue to come from the labour market for all sectors. Unemployment is being rapidly reduced, and the number of job vacancies continues to expand strongly.

The marked improvement in private consumption that had set in since the first opening steps had continued in calendar week 26 after a two-week period of weakness but stagnated in calendar week 27. Sales in the stationary retail sector continued to rise, while demand for services faltered, although school vacations were now also starting in western Austria. However, the start of summer vacations in Austria as well as in parts of Europe led to a strong increase in both travel exports and imports. The net GDP contribution of travel, although still negative at –0.3 percent relative to pre-crisis levels, improved markedly from the previous week. In line with the recovery of the international economy, exports of goods continue to exceed the pre-crisis level and value added in manufacturing is close to it. The recovery is also reflected in the steady increase in goods imports, which are currently still slightly below the pre-crisis level, however. The net GDP contribution of foreign trade in goods remains positive but decreased somewhat. On the output side, total value added has stagnated compared to the previous week.

 


Details on the WIFO Weekly Economic Index can be found here (xlsx).

The Weekly WIFO Economic Index (WWWI) is a measure of the real economic activity of the Austrian economy on a weekly basis. It is based on weekly, monthly and quarterly indicators. The index is scaled to the values of the rates of change in GDP against a corresponding reference period.

From 6 April 2021, the estimated percentage change in seasonally adjusted real aggregate economic activity in a calendar week is presented in two variants: firstly, as previously, in terms of the change from the same week a year earlier, and secondly, as a comparison to an average weekly value in 2019 (fixed reference period). This extended presentation is intended to support the contextualization of the results. Starting with calendar week 11 2021, 15 to 21 March 2021, for the year-on-year comparison, both comparative values lie in the pandemic-related crisis period.

Since the economic slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the strict regulatory restrictions to contain it during 2020 was most severe in the first lockdown period, starting 16 March 2020, and consequently the comparison level is very low, the year-on-year percentage increase is exceptionally strong after a year of negative year-on-year rates of change. The calculation against a fixed 2019 reference period allows a comparison of the current GDP level with the pre-crisis level.

Please contact

Josef Baumgartner

Research groups: Macroeconomics and European Economic Policy

Christian Glocker

Research groups: Macroeconomics and European Economic Policy
© Alexander Müller
© Alexander Müller