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Weekly WIFO Economic Index

WWWI: Calendar Weeks 18 to 22 2024
Economic activity based on the weekly GDP indicator (WWWI) decreased by ½ percent compared to the previous year in May (calendar weeks 18 to 22).

WWWI for GDP and its subcomponents

Based on the weekly indicator of real GDP (WWWI), domestic output in May (calendar weeks 18 to 22, 29 April to 2 June) was ½ percent lower than in the same period of the previous year (April +¼ percent, revised)1. The current calculations for the months February to April are influenced by working day effects, which cannot be corrected by using the year-on-year changes in the model estimates2. In February, an additional working day (leap day on 29 February) affects activity. In 2024, Holy Week and Easter fell in the last week of March (calendar week 13) – in 2023 Easter fell in the first week of April (calendar week 14) – which gave a positive boost to tourism and trade on the output side and to retail trade and private consumption on the demand side in March. For calendar week 14 2024, this in turn led to weaker economic output compared to the same week of the previous year. In 2024, there were 2.5 working days less in March and 2.5 working days more in April than in the previous year. This was mainly reflected in sharp falls in the industrial and construction production indices in March and led to an improvement in the producing sector in April.

The inflation-adjusted volume of non-cash transactions, as an indicator of household consumption, shows a stagnation in demand for goods (retail sales) and services in May. Private consumption is therefore estimated to have remained unchanged compared to the previous year (April –¼ percent).

The development of gross fixed capital formation is determined by economic output (industrial production) and sentiment in the manufacturing sector (according to the WIFO-Konjunkturtest, business cycle survey). In May, the decline is estimated at 3¼ percent year-on-year (April –1 percent).

Both the number of trucks on Austria's motorways and the volume of rail freight traffic fell in May compared to the same period last year. In contrast, the number of flights handled at Vienna Airport continued to rise, with cargo flights increasing significantly since the beginning of the year. Overall, exports fell more than imports, leading to a further decline in net exports. The estimated growth contribution of net exports in the broad sense to GDP was therefore negative in May, at –½ percentage point (April –1½ percentage points).

According to the WIFO-Konjunkturtest (business cycle survey), business sentiment in the transport sector deteriorated again in May. Together with the development of freight transport, this is also reflected in the value added of the transport sector (NACE 2008, section H). At –3 percent in May, it remained below the level of a year earlier (April –2¼ percent).

The industrial production index slumped by 11.1 percent (unadjusted) in March, not least because there were 2.5 fewer working days than in the previous year. In April, there were 2.5 working days more than in the previous year, resulting in a 4.3 percent increase in industrial production compared to the same month of the previous year. Employment in the goods producing sector (NACE 2008, sections A to E) continued to fall in May due to the recession, and the number of jobseekers has been rising at double-digit rates year-on-year since November 2023. The WIFO-Konjunkturtest does not yet show any significant improvement in sentiment, neither in the assessment of the current situation nor in the expectations for the coming months. WIFO expects value added in the goods producing sector in May to have been 3 percent lower than a year earlier (April ±0 percent).

Sentiment in the construction sector has stabilised somewhat but remains in negative territory. According to the WIFO-Konjunkturtest, the assessment of the current situation has hardly changed compared to April, while expectations have again declined slightly. The rise in the number of persons registered as unemployed in the construction sector, which has been going on for almost 1½ years, has been back in double digits at over 20 percent since March, while employment has been declining for ten months. Value added in construction (NACE 2008, section F) is expected to have fallen by 3¼ percent in May compared to a year earlier (April +2 percent).

Easter effects can also be seen in tourism in March and April. Based on cashless transactions in hotels and restaurants, sentiment indicators from the WIFO-Konjunkturtest and online searches by foreign guests, value added in tourism (accommodation and food services, NACE 2008, section I) is estimated to have been ½ percent higher in May than in the same period of the previous year (April –6 percent, March +2 percent). The trade sector (NACE 2008, section G) continues to be very weak: value added in May was 2 percent below the previous year's level (April –3 percent).

The continuing unfavourable development in the producing sector is dampening the momentum in remaining market services (NACE 2008, sections J to N), as the current employment situation and the sentiment indicators of the WIFO-Konjunkturtest also show. Year-on-year, value added rose by ¼ percent in May (April +1 percent). In other personal services (NACE 2008, sections R to T), value added is expected to have increased by 1 percent both in April and May on the basis of price-adjusted non-cash payments in the events sector.

1  The inclusion of newly published monthly and quarterly data, which have to be met when estimating the WWWI, has led to a revision of the WWWI for GDP: March –¼ percentage point, April +¾ percentage point. On the production side, noteworthy upward revisions in April occurred in the remaining market services (NACE 2008, sections J to N), the goods producing sector (NACE 2008, sections A to E) and construction (NACE 2008, section F), while larger downward revisions occurred in public administration in the broad sense (NACE 2008, sections O to Q), transport (NACE 2008, section H), accommodation and food services (NACE 2008, section I) and distributive trades (NACE 2008, section G).

2  Adjustment procedures for the leap year effect in February and the calendar effect of Easter in March and April 2024 are not applicable due to the short sample period – weekly data are available from January 2019 to first week of June 2024.


The WIFO Weekly Economic Index (WWWI) is a measure of the real economic activity of the Austrian economy on a weekly and monthly frequency. It is based on weekly, monthly and quarterly time series to estimate weekly and monthly indicators for real GDP and 18 GDP sub-aggregates (use side 8, production side 10) of the Quarterly National Accounts.

With the release for June 2022, the econometric models for the historical decompositions and for nowcasting have been converted to seasonally unadjusted time series. In addition, year-on-year growth rates are now used to estimate the models.

The WWWI estimates are (currently) updated monthly and published on the WIFO website.