WIFO Reports on Austria

The WIFO Reports on Austria are short English-language analyses of economic developments in Austria. Contributions on the topics of business cycle, competitiveness, macroeconomics, labour market, digitisation, cash flow and unit labour costs are published regularly, summarising the main developments in these areas in Austria.

The articles of the previous issues "WIFO Bulletin" and "Austrian Economic Quarterly" can be found here: WIFO Bulletin, Austrian Economic Quarterly

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Recent issues (32 hits)

WIFO Reports on Austria, 2023, (1), 15 pages
Online since: 03.02.2023 0:00
The international economic downturn also affected the Austrian economy in the second half of 2022. GDP is expected to decline in the winter half-year. Stimulus from foreign trade is expected to revive in spring 2023. The gradual easing on the energy markets is dampening inflation and should contribute to an improvement in sentiment over time and a pick-up in economic activity. In 2022, Austria's economic output will grow by 4.7 percent. In 2023, GDP is expected to largely stagnate (+0.3 percent), while in 2024 growth will increase to 1.8 percent.
The results of the WIFO-Konjunkturtest (business cycle survey) of October show a quarter-on-quarter weakening of economic assessments and a further deterioration of economic expectations for all sectors. Capacity utilisation also declined in all sectors, but still remained at average levels. As in previous quarters, the "shortage of labour force" was the most important constraint on business activity in the Austrian economy, although the "insufficient demand" is gaining in importance. Business uncertainty has risen for the last months. Sales price expectations has also remained above average.
WIFO Reports on Austria, 2022, (16), 14 pages
Online since: 31.10.2022 0:00
After the strong expansion in the first half of 2022, the Austrian economy is now in a downturn phase. The economic slowdown is spreading to all value adding sectors; the manufacturing sector is even likely to slip into recession. Real GDP is expected to grow by 4.8 percent in 2022 and roughly stagnate in the following year (2023 +0.2 percent). With inflation remaining high in 2023, Austria's economy is heading for stagflation for the first time since the 1970s.
WIFO Reports on Austria, 2022, (15), 14 pages
Online since: 31.10.2022 0:00
In 2021, there is a significant decrease in unit labour costs in manufacturing of 5.4 percent compared to the previous year. In an international comparison, Austria's unit labour cost position improved in 2021 compared with the weighted average of all trading partners (–2.6 percentage points) and compared with EU trading partners (–2.7 percentage points). Moreover, the unit labour cost position has also improved significantly compared with Germany, the most important trading partner (–2.5 percentage points). Due to the differences between Austria and its main trading partners in the implementation and design of COVID-19 aid, measures (especially short-time work) as well as the details of the statistical recording of these measures in the national accounts, this year's values should still be interpreted with caution, both over time and between individual countries.
WIFO Reports on Austria, 2022, (14), 12 pages
Online since: 30.09.2022 0:00
In 2021, the agricultural policy course was set anew within the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). In December 2021, the national CAP strategic plan was submitted to the European Commission. It sets out the measures to be taken in the coming years to make the agricultural sector more climate and environmentally friendly, more competitive and more attractive for employees. The new plan is also intended to stimulate the economic revival of rural regions and to improve food security. In 2021, the economic conditions for agriculture and forestry were favourable. This was reflected in higher prices for goods produced in the primary sector and an increase in factor income in agriculture. The sector also benefitted from payments to mitigate economic losses related to the COVID-19 crisis.
WIFO Reports on Austria, 2022, (13), 12 pages
Online since: 30.09.2022 0:00
At 9.1 percent, the cash-flow-to-sales ratio in Austrian manufacturing in 2020 was well below the long-term average of 9.5 percent. According to WIFO's econometric estimations, the cash flow ratio rose to 10.2 percent in 2021. The increase reflects the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Preliminary results for 2022 show a decrease of the earnings power.
As a result of the measures taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, Austria's economic output decreased by 6.7 percent in 2020 compared with the previous year. Greenhouse gas emissions fell by 7.7 percent (or 6.1 million t CO2 equivalents) and reached their lowest level since 1990. The transport sector accounted for more than half of the total decrease in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2019. However, the emissions reductions do not reflect structural improvements in energy or emissions intensity; rather, they are short-term declines resulting from reduced economic activity and limited private mobility due to COVID-19 related restrictions and increased home-office schemes. Therefore, consistent implementation of measures leading to a sustainable reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is required to achieve the climate policy objectives, in particular the Austrian target of climate neutrality by 2040.
The results of the WIFO-Konjunkturtest (business cycle survey) of July show a weakening of economic dynamics and a clouding of economic expectations in a quarterly comparison. In all sectors, the economic indicators lost ground compared to April. Capacity utilisation also declined in all sectors but remained at above-average levels. In the economy, as in the previous quarter, the "shortage of labour force" was the most important obstacle to business activity, in manufacturing and retailing the shortage of materials and intermediate products. Business uncertainty increased, while sales price expectations remained above average.
The present monitoring of selected indicators on various aspects of the digital transformation of the economy and society shows that Austria still only ranks in the middle of the EU 27. The gap in the availability of particularly high-performance fibre-optic infrastructures in an EU comparison could be efficiently reduced by open network access models that allow multiple use of existing network infrastructures. This would bring the nationwide availability of gigabit-capable access networks a decisive step closer.
WIFO Reports on Austria, 2022, (9), 16 pages
Online since: 26.07.2022 0:00
The economic outlook has clouded worldwide since the last WIFO forecast. This also has consequences for the expected recovery in Austria. Leading indicators point to an economic slowdown that will predominantly affect industry in 2022. In contrast, tourism will contribute disproportionately to economic growth in 2022. After +4.8 percent in the previous year, WIFO expects real GDP growth of 4.3 and 1.6 percent for 2022 and 2023, respectively.
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Contact persons

apl. Prof. Dr. Hans Pitlik

Function: Senior Economist, Editor-in-chief WIFO-Monatsberichte and WIFO Reports on Austria

Tamara Fellinger

Activities: Publications, website, subscriptions

Tatjana Weber

Activities: Publications, website, subscriptions