WIFO-Konjunkturtest of December 2019

Deterioration in economic assessments
The results of the WIFO-Konjunkturtest (business cycle survey) show a further deterioration in the economic assessments of Austrian companies. However, there are still major differences between the sectors: while the economic assessments of companies in the service and building sectors remain confident despite slight declines, companies in the manufacturing sector are not very confident.

The index of the current assessments of the overall economy increased by 1.1 points to a value of 8.3 points in December (excluding seasonal fluctuations) and thus remains in positive territory. In the service sectors, the index drops by 0.4 points, but at 11.8 points still signals a dynamic service economy. In the construction industry the index remains almost unchanged (+0.1 points) after the increase in the previous month, but with a value of 27.6 points it is in the very optimistic range. In the economically significant manufacturing sector, the situation index is losing ground again (–2.7 points) and at –3.1 points is below the zero line which separates positive and negative economic assessments.

The index of business expectations lost more of its dynamics in December (–2.3 points) and reached a value of 5.6 points. In the construction industry, the expectation index fell (–1.8 points), while the index value remained within the confident range at 13.6 points. In the service sectors, the expectation index fell significantly compared with the previous month (–3.3 points), but at 9.4 points is still within the range of confident economic expectations. In the manufacturing sector, the expectation index fell slightly (–1.0 points) and, at –2.7 points, was once again more sceptical, reflecting the weakness of the industrial economy.

Details on all sectors in the current economic survey can be found here.

Dr. Werner Hölzl
Industrial, Innovation and International Economics