Recent information on the publication of the WWWI: in the future, the Weekly WIFO Economic Index will be published every 14 days on WIFO's website.
WWWI for GDP and its subcomponents
The inflation-adjusted volume of non-cash transactions as an indicator of household consumption expenditure showed a further year-on-year increase in the first half of September. Google's mobility indicators for retail and recreation continue to point to a sideways movement. Real private consumer spending was 4 percent higher than a year earlier (August +2.7 percent). The increase continues to be driven by growth in demand for services and goods (the latter measured by retail sales). The development of gross fixed capital formation is in line with the dynamics in manufacturing (see below); it contracted by 1.7 percent year-on-year in the first half of September.
The growth dynamics of the most important trading partners (according to the indicators of the OECD's weekly GDP tracker for the euro area and the CEEC 5) developed heterogeneously at the current edge (the first three weeks of September). In the CEEC 5, economic growth has recently been stronger than in previous months. Truck mileage on Austria's highways, freight volumes on the railways and outgoing cargo flights increased compared with the same period last year. At the same time, early September again saw more take-offs and landings of passenger flights at Vienna Airport and more domestic and foreign Google searches for accommodation in Austria than a year earlier. Inflation-adjusted cashless transactions by foreign guests in Austria and domestic travellers abroad rose year-on-year in early September. The interplay of these influencing factors and a modest expansion of imports results in a still slightly positive growth contribution of net exports in the broad sense to GDP, amounting to an expected 0.1 percentage point (August +0.2 percentage points).
In addition to the positive development of overall freight transport, the Google mobility indicators for transit stations also improved further in the first half of September. Value added in the transport sector (NACE H) is therefore expected to increase by around 8¾ percent year-on-year.
Indicators for industrial production point to a further economic slowdown in early September. Temperature-adjusted electricity consumption and nitrogen dioxide emissions in the vicinity of industrial plants declined year-on-year. The number of jobseekers, which had risen again on a week-on-week basis since July, decreased in early September in line with the season. Compared with a year earlier, it remains at an exceptionally low level. However, the assessments of manufacturing companies on the current situation and the short-term business expectations continued to cloud over (according to the WIFO-Konjunkturtest, business cycle survey); expectations fell below the zero line, indicating a predominance of pessimistic assessments. For the first half of September, WIFO expects value added in the producing sector (primary production, production of material goods, energy industry, water supply, sewage, and waste management – NACE A to E) to decline by 0.4 percent year-on-year.
In the construction industry (NACE F), the number of people registered as unemployed in the first half of September was slightly higher than the average for the previous month but remained well below the year-earlier level. Assessments of the current situation and business expectations for the coming months deteriorated further but remained still in the expansionary range. For the first weeks of September, value added in construction is expected to increase slightly by 0.2 percent year-on-year.
In tourism (accommodation and food service, NACE I), the situation in the past three months was also assessed markedly worse; the outlook for the coming months remained predominantly pessimistic. The volumes of inflation-adjusted non-cash transactions in the catering and hotel industry showed a year-on-year increase at the beginning of September. The number of people registered as unemployed increased compared with the previous month but remains at a comparatively low level. For the first half of September, the number of overnight stays in Austria is expected to be 4.5 percent lower than in the previous year – compared to September 2019 (pre-crisis level), the decline is likely to amount to 12.9 percent. Value added in tourism is estimated to be 2.8 percent higher than in the previous year.
Value added in trade (NACE G) is estimated to be 1.2 percent lower than a year earlier, based on inflation-adjusted non-cash retail sales. For the remaining market-related services (NACE J to N), the drop in unemployment and GDP developments suggest that momentum will remain favourable. Value added in the first three weeks of September is expected to have increased by 1.7 percent year-on-year. In other personal services (NACE R to T), value added is estimated to have increased by 1.7 percent year on year in early September, based on price-adjusted non-cash payments in the area of event management and Google mobility for retail and leisure.