Business Environment in Austria
After undergoing the worst recession in its history, Austria's economy has been slowly recovering, with an estimated GDP of 1.6% in 2010, which should increase more sharply in 2011. This performance, which places Austria above the forecasts of growth in the European Union, is due to the continuing growth of exports.
The measures taken to cope with the crisis and the recent fiscal reform have deepened the budget deficit. The government has tackled this problem by adopting a consolidation plan. In addition, structural reforms will be necessary.
In terms of per capita income, Austria ranks fourth in the European Union. Nevertheless, the recession has lead to a continuous worsening of the labor market and the unemployment rate, although low within the European context, should remain raised in 2011.
|GDP (billions USD)||382.07||376.84||405.68e||419.91e||433.50e|
|GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)||-3.9||2.0e||2.4||2.3||2.2|
|GDP per Capita (USD)||45,686||44,987||48,350||49,964||51,497|
|General Government Balance (in % of GDP)||-2.3||-3.0e||-2.4||-2.4||-2.3|
|Inflation Rate (%)||0.4||1.7e||2.5||2.0||1.9e|
|Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force)||4.8||4.4||4.3||4.3||4.2|
|Current Account (billions USD)||5.33e||6.95||6.68||6.59||-|
|Current Account (in % of GDP)||1.4e||1.8e||1.7e||1.6e||-|
Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database
Note: (e) Estimated Data
Main Sectors of Industry
Dominating the economy, the tertiary sector contributes around 70% of the GDP and employs two-thirds of the country's active population. Tourism is well developed: nearly 17 million tourists visit Austria annually.
The agricultural sector contributes about 2% of the GDP and employs nearly 6% of the active population. Cattle farming and viticulture are the country's main agricultural activities. Organic agriculture is developing rapidly. It currently represents 10% of the agricultural production. Austria benefits from significant European Union subsidies as provided by the Common Agricultural Policy.
The main industrial sectors are the metalworking industry, electrochemistry and engineering, even though most of the companies in these sectors are relatively small on the international scale. The country has little mineral resources such as iron, lead and copper.
|Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
|Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment)||5.6||26.0||68.3|
|Value Added (in % of GDP)||1.5||29.2||69.3|
|Value Added (Annual % Change)||-4.3||-10.7||-1.2|
Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.
|Euro (EUR) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD||0.80||0.80||0.73||0.68||0.72|
Source: World Bank
Indicator of Economic Freedom
- Mostly free
- World Rank:
- Regional Rank:
Foreign Trade in Figures
The Austrian economy is heavily dependant on foreign trade which accounts for more than 95% of its GDP. Trade with European Union countries accounts for about 70% of the total trade. Austrian exports suffered significantly from the global crisis, however, with the recovery, the Austrian trade deficit has improved in 2010. This tendency should continue.
|Foreign Trade Indicators||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010|
|Imports of Goods (million USD)||137,212||163,037||184,293||143,063||158,549|
|Exports of Goods (million USD)||136,751||163,621||181,289||136,988||151,791|
|Imports of Services (million USD)||33,337||38,854||42,569||36,707||36,137|
|Exports of Services (million USD)||45,199||53,657||62,957||54,045||53,426|
|Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||5.4||7.0||-0.9||-14.4||-|
|Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||7.5||9.1||-||-||-|
|Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||51.7||53.6||53.4||46.0||-|
|Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||56.8||59.3||59.2||50.5||-|
|Trade Balance (million USD)||426||1,810||-592||-3,258||-|
|Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD)||13,024||16,987||18,668||-||-|
|Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)||108.5||112.9||112.6||96.5||-|
Source: WTO - World Trade Organization ; World Bank
Main Partner Countries
(% of Exports)
|Other partnersClose extended list||47.4%|
(% of Imports)
|Other partnersClose extended list||38.6%|
Sources of General Economic Information
Federal Ministry of Economy and Labour
Federal Ministry of Finance
Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management
Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Statistical Office
The Austrian Statistical Central Office
- Central Bank
Central Bank of Austria
- Stock Exchange
The Vienna Stock Exchange
- Search Engines
- Economic Portals
- Executive Power
- President is the chief of the state and the Federal Chancellor is the head of the government. Chancellor enjoys the executive powers. President is elected by direct popular vote for a six-year term and the Chancellor is traditionally chosen by the President from the majority party in the National Council. Council of Ministers is chosen by the President on the advice of the Chancellor.
- Legislative Power
- The legislature in Austria is bicameral. The parliament consists of two chambers: National Council (the lower house), its members elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms, and Federal Council (the upper house) with its members elected by provincial parliaments to serve five- or six-year terms. President can dissolve the National Council on recommendation of the Chancellor. The Federal Council only reviews legislation passed by the National Council and can delay but not veto its enactment. Most authority, including that of the police, rests with the federal government, but the states have considerable responsibility for welfare matters and local administration.
- Main Political Parties
- The major political parties in the country are: OVP (the conservative People's Party), SPO (Social Democratic Party), FPO (the right-wing Freedom Party), and the Greens.
OVP finds support from farmers, large and small business owners and some Catholic groups, mostly in the rural regions of Austria; while as the SPO traditionally draws its constituency from blue- and white-collar workers.
- Current Political Leaders
- President: Heinz FISCHER (since July 2004) – SPO
Chancellor: Werner FAYMANN (since Decemer 2008)
Vice Chancellor:Josef Pröll (since Decembre 2008) - OVP
- Next Election Dates
- Presidential election: April 2016
National Council election: 2013
Indicator of Freedom of the Press
- World Rank:
- 1 place up compared to 2008
Indicator of Political Freedom
- Political Freedom:
- Civil Liberties:
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