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Austrian Economic News and Analysis

IMF Report: Austria Should Make Cuts in Healthcare, Education, Pensions, Banks Should Raise Equity

Austria's outlook suggests a moderate improvement. The latest IMF report recommends Austria to conduct broad cuts in such areas of spending as healthcare, education and pensions. Also, Austrian banks should raise equity. Unemployment, although rising, has remained moderate at below 6 percent. Strengthening private consumption, investment, and exports are expected to raise growth to about 1½ percent in 2016. The current account surplus exceeds 2 percent of GDP thanks to sustained price competitiveness and robust tourism inflows. The authorities have made significant progress in revamping the regulatory framework for the banking sector. However challenges remain and further measures need to be taken. Therefore the IMF suggests three policy priorities: expenditure reforms, integrate immigrants into the Austrian economy and further strengthen financial sector resilience.

December 14, 2015

Purchasing Managers' Index: More Moderate Industrial Growth in November

Bank Austria has published its latest "Purchasing Managers' Index" on the Austrian economy. The Austrian economy should manage to keep better pace with European and German growth rates in 2016. With the momentum of the recovery in Europe, the industrial sector in Austria has already improved since the beginning of autumn. In spite of a weaker result compared to the previous month the Bank Austria Purchasing Managers’ Index amounts 51.4 points. This still clearly indicates growth for Austrian industry, which in the meantime has largely caught up with the pace of growth in Europe.

December 3, 2015

VIG: Elisabeth Stadler to Replace Peter Hagen as CEO

Due to differences in opinion regarding the future strategic orientation and steering of the Group, Peter Hagen will be leaving his position as Chairman of the Managing Board of the Vienna Insurance Group on 31 December 2015. Elisabeth Stadler will become his successor.

December 2, 2015

Business Indicator: Austria's Economy Grows by 0.9 Percent in 2015

Bank Austria has published its latest "Business Indicator" on the Austrian economy. At the beginning of the final quarter of 2015, the already moderate economic recovery in Austria seems to have lost speed. The Bank Austria Business Indicator slipped into the red in October. A sharp decline in consumer sentiment has pushed the indicator to its lowest level in eight months, despite the continual increase in confidence within industry. In addition to a slowdown of economic activity in Austria in the meantime, the opposing trend in domestic and foreign demand can still be seen in the recent Bank Austria Business Indicator. The different developments of individual sentiment components highlight the fact that neither consumption nor investment activity have gained momentum, but demand from abroad is slowly increasing. The opposing trends in domestic economic activity and foreign demand appear to have strengthened in Austria for the time being.

November 18, 2015

Bank Austria Posts Net Profit of EUR 660 Million for the First Nine Months

UniCredit Bank Austria announced that net profit in the three months to end-September dropped to 172 million euros from 291 million in the previous three months. As reported, the bank plans to terminate up to 14,000 jobs and restructure or exit its retail business in Austria and leasing operations in Italy as it seeks to strengthen its equity.

November 11, 2015

UniCredit - Bank Austria: CEE Operations Move from Vienna to Milan - Retail Business to be Sold or Restructured

Until the end of 2016, all CEE interests with currently 48,000 employees have to be transferred to Milan. Until now this division has been the most important earner for Bank Austria. The 13 banking subsidiaries of Bank Austria in Eastern and Southeastern Europe employ nearly 48,000 people - and thus the majority of the approximately 57,000 employees of Bank Austria. The retail banking business of in Austria with 1.6 million customers has to be sold or restructured, Unicredit announced in the afternoon.

November 11, 2015

Purchasing Managers' Index: Pace of Austria's Industrial Growth Increases

Bank Austria has published its latest "Purchasing Managers' Index" on the Austrian economy. At the end of the first quarter in 2015 subtle signs of a pick-up in Austrian economic activity were detected for the first time in about six months.

October 30, 2015

Recommendations from the EU to Help Austria Improve Its Economic Performance

The Austrian economy has stagnated since the second quarter of 2012. Energy prices have helped lower inflation, but core inflation is stable. The labour market has performed strongly, but challenges lie ahead. Fiscal consolidation has slowed down in 2014 due to the cost borne by the government for the financial sector, which translated into higher deficit and debt ratios. Despite a solid, but moderate current account surplus, Austria has suffered a pronounced loss in world trade market shares. While the economy is free of major imbalances, maintaining competitiveness and long term growth prospects requires constant attention and consistent policy efforts. The Commission has made four country-specific recommendations to Austria to help it improve its economic performance. These are in the areas of public finances, taxation and pensions, labour market and education, services, and the financial sector.

October 26, 2015

Austria's Economy Undergoing a Very Modest Recovery Despite Increasing Uncertainties

Bank Austria has published its latest "Business Indicator" on the Austrian economy. Despite increasing global uncertainties, the recovery of the Austrian economy is continuing into the start of autumn. The Business Indicator remained the same in September at 0.1 points compared to the previous month. The improved confidence in domestic industry as well as an increased tailwind from Europe compensated for the deterioration in consumer confidence.

October 19, 2015

Life Sciences Field is Booming in Vienna

Nine percent revenue growth, five percent increase in the workforce and a large increase in business startups - Vienna as a location for life science businesses is attracting companies at a rate never seen before.

October 14, 2015

CEE in the Autumn of 2015 is the New Safe Haven

The key conclusion of UniCredit’s CEE Quarterly 4Q 2015 is that the CEE region, despite its heterogeneity, looks better positioned than most other large emerging markets to cope with potential challenges. In particular they found that market volatility spiked in 3Q15, with the uncertainty surrounding the anticipated Fed rate hike augmented by growing worries about a “hard landing” in China.

September 25, 2015

Austrian President Fischer is First European Head of State to Visit Iran

Austrian President Heinz Fischer is the first European head of state to visit Iran following the successful conclusion of nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1.

September 7, 2015

InEquality: Economic Symposium at Forum Alpbach Launched

The Economic Symposium of the Forum Alpbach has been launched in the presence of business executives, politicians, students and the media. The core topic of this year's conference is InEquality.

September 2, 2015

Expat Insider: Country Report Austria - Safe & Sound

InterNations shares with you a detailed picture of life abroad in Austria: why people relocate, what their daily life is like, and how satisfied they are. Known for schnitzels, mountains, and bodybuilders turned governors, Austria has excellent rankings in the Quality of Life, Working Abroad, and Family Life Indices, but settling in isn't easy. They provide an in-depth country profile of Austria. Read on and find out what expatriate life in your dream destination Austria is actually like.

August 25, 2015

Low Interest Rates are Costing Every Austrian 2,366 Euro

Due to the ongoing low interest rate environment, Austrian savers had to forego around EUR 35.5 billion in interest income over the past five years (2010-2014). On average this amounts to approx. 4,156 euro per capita. Of this, interest earned on deposits alone on average amounted to EUR 24 billion less than in the years 2005 – 2009. Anyone who invested his money in residential real estate has reason to be pleased, as prices have risen by more than a third since 2009. On stock exchanges significantly larger gains could be achieved as well, but only 3.3% of Austrians are directly invested in equities.

July 21, 2015

Austrian Economy is Underperforming the Eurozone Average

Ernst & Young's latest analysis on the Eurozone forecasts that the Austrian economy is to grow 0.7% in 2015, underperforming the Eurozone as a whole for the second consecutive year. Investment is expected to remain subdued, while the contribution of exports will be only marginal as a consequence of the modest external environment.

June 24, 2015

Mostboeck: "ATX Valuations Remain Attractive - Catch-Up Potential until Year-End"

The majority of companies in the ATX had to report significant earnings revisions in 2014. In addition, geopolitical risks in the context of the Russia/Ukraine conflict exerted a negative effect. “The significantly improved environment and the digestion of last year's one-off effects are creating notable catch-up potential for the ATX”, notes Fritz Mostböck, Head of Group Research at Erste Group.

June 23, 2015

European Forum Wachau: Political Leaders Discuss Europe's Limits

The European Forum Wachau is a European debate event and will be held this weekend at the Stift Göttweig in Lower Austria. The event was launched in 1995, the year of Austria's accession to the European Union. Participants of the conference titled “Has Europe reached its limits? Reflections on Europe’s future role on the global stage” will discuss topics such as, the EU as a security provider, the EU's new mode of regional cooperation and the EU and her neighbours.

June 12, 2015

Bilderberg 2015: Full List of All 133 Participants

The full list of all 133 attendees to the top secret Bilderberg Group conference 2015 has been released (see below). The Austrians participating are René Benko, Oscar Bronner, Heinz Fischer, Alfred Gusenbauer, Erich Hampel, Wolfgang Hesoun, Gerhard Roiss, Rudolf Scholten and Karl Sevelda.

June 12, 2015 · Updated: June 12, 2015; 17:45

The Bilderberg Group - Background and Criticism

The first Bilderberg conference dates back to May 1954, when it was held at the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands. Partly because of its working methods to ensure strict privacy, the Bilderberg Group has been criticised for its lack of transparency and accountability.

June 11, 2015

Bilderberg 2015: The "World Government" Meets in Austria

A select group of global elite is gathering today at the Interalpen-Hotel Tyrol in Telfs-Buchen, Austria. The 63rd Bilderberg conference is a super secret annual conference where they can discuss politics, economics and foreign policy freely. A total of around 140 participants from 22 countries have confirmed their attendance at the Bilderberg conference 2015. As ever, a diverse group of political leaders and experts from industry and finance have been invited. This year the list includes nine Austrians. Key talking points on the agenda include the Ukrainian crisis, Greece, Middle East and Terrorism (see detailed list below). Security is tight - participants as well as protesters and journalists will have to deal with the Austrian anti terror squad "Cobra". After 1979 it's the second time that the conference takes place in Austria.

June 11, 2015 · Updated: June 11, 2015; 19:00

Analysis: Austrian Economy Falls Behind Eurozone Average

The latest "Attractiveness Survey" from consultancy Ernst & Young Global Limited shows, that espite strong fundamentals, Austria’s economy lost some ground on the Eurozone average in 2014, with growth of just 0.4% compared with 0.9% for the Eurozone as a whole. This comparative weakness will also continue in 2015, with Austria’s GDP growth estimated at 1.1%, against 1.5% in the Eurozone. This is despite a boost from lower energy prices, quantitative easing from the European Central Bank (ECB) and a weaker euro.

June 1, 2015

EBRD Sees Mixed Outlook for CESEE Countries in 2015-16

The outlook for economies in central and south eastern Europe is improving on the back of eurozone monetary easing but prospects further to the east of the transition region have worsened, as the impact of Russia’s recession intensifies.

May 14, 2015

Purchasing Managers' Index: Austrian Industry Shows First Signs of Recovery

Bank Austria has published its latest "Purchasing Managers' Index" on the Austrian economy. At the end of the first quarter in 2015 subtle signs of a pick-up in Austrian economic activity were detected for the first time in about six months.

May 5, 2015

Vienna Stock Exchange: ATX Upswing Drives Up Equity Trading in Q1

The Vienna Stock Exchange has seen the strongest monthly equity turnover since August 2011. The average monthly trading volume to date in 2015 is EUR 5.04 billion which represents a gain of 26.61% over the average monthly trading volume of the year 2014 (EUR 3.98 billion).

April 2, 2015

Business Indicator: Economic Activity Remains Sluggish - Revival Only in Course of Year

Bank Austria has published its latest "Business Indicator" on the Austrian economy. The Austrian economy is making no headway at present after the mild improvement in the economic climate at the start of the year. The Bank Austria Business Indicator remained at exactly zero points in February after a modest increase in the previous month. The current economic situation is thus somewhat more favourable than towards the end of the previous year, but the local economy still lacks momentum as of March 2015.

April 1, 2015

Austrian Economic Activity Remains Sluggish - Revival Only in Course of Year

Bank Austria has published its latest "Business Indicator" on the Austrian economy. The Austrian economy is making no headway at present after the mild improvement in the economic climate at the start of the year.

March 19, 2015

Austrian Production Index Shrinks 0.6 Pct Y/Y in 2014

Austria's working day adjusted production index decreased by 2.6% in December, y/y it shrank by 0.6 percent.

February 25, 2015

Vienna to Have Two Million Inhabitants in 2029

Vienna is already the city with the second largest population in the German-speaking countries. But Vienna is growing faster than ever. This development entails a tremendous challenge for Vienna. Based on the figures now available, investments totalling seven billion euros will have to be made by the year 2020 in the areas of child care, public transport, other infrastructure facilities and health services alone.

February 20, 2015

Austria: Number of Naturalisations Increased by 3.7% in 2014

7.693 people acquired Austrian citizenship in 2014 (including 123 persons resident abroad). Compared to 2013, the number of naturalisations increased by 3.7%. Top former nationalities include Bosnia-Herzegovina (1 120), Turkey (885), followed by Serbia (671), the Russian Federation (433) and the Kosovo (381).

February 20, 2015

Finance Ministry: "Fitch Downgrade has no Impact on Austria Rating"

In response to the rating announcement by rating agency Fitch, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance says, that the current Fitch rating has no impact on the Austria rating due to temporary debt increase.

February 20, 2015

Austrian Population Rises Above 8.5 Million

Austria's population increases to 8.58 million at the beginning of 2015, according to preliminary results of Statistics Austria. In absolute terms, the population grew by almost 72 000 last year. Hence, population growth was significantly higher than in the previous year (2013: +56 000). More than half of the population growth was concentrated in the Eastern part of Austria (55.9%), where Vienna accounted for a large share of the total increase (38.9%).

February 20, 2015

Business Indicator: First Small Signs of Improvement in Austrian Economic Activity

Bank Austria has published its latest "Business Indicator" on the Austrian economy. The Indicator exits negative territory due to modest rise in January. Decline in oil price pushes average annual inflation down below 1 percent for 2015, injecting more momentum into private consumption. Growth forecast for 2015 raised to 0.9 percent.

February 20, 2015

Austrian Government Guarantees Stand at EUR 112.9 bn

Newly collected data by Statistics Austria on State guarantees (governmental contingent liabilities, potential obligations and assets) show guarantees of €112.9 bn at the end of 2013 (of which 52% are granted by the state and local government sectors).

February 10, 2015

Purchasing Managers' Index: Austrian Economy Still Waiting for Industrial Upswing

Bank Austria has published its latest "Purchasing Managers' Index" on the Austrian economy. While industrial activity is slowly improving in Europe, Austrian industry is not yet in the best of form in early 2015.

January 29, 2015

Japanese Mizuho Bank Sets Up Office in Vienna

Mizuho Bank through its Dutch subsidiary has acquired the approval to open a branch in Vienna. The bank is looking to develop its business in CEE. Simultaneously the Bank signed a memorandum of understanding with the Austrian Business Agency for services in connection with the setup.

January 28, 2015

Vienna as a Business Location - The City at a Glance

Vienna combines tradition, culture and quality of life with the factors of a top business location in a unique way. A stable political and economic environment, a research and technology-friendly climate, geographical and cultural proximity to the growth markets in the east and, not least, the highest quality of life in the world provide for a place at the very top of the world’s rankings.

January 27, 2015

Vienna as a Business Location - Areas of Strength

Vienna combines tradition, culture and quality of life with the factors of a top business location in a unique way. A stable political and economic environment, a research and technology-friendly climate, geographical and cultural proximity to the growth markets in the east and, not least, the highest quality of life in the world provide for a place at the very top of the world’s rankings.

January 22, 2015

ECB Unleashes Quantitative Easing - How does it work?

Today, the ECB finally commenced on a large scale sovereign bond-buying programme. The €60bn monthly asset purchases include covered bonds and asset backed securities. Due to the flood of cheap money, the DAX was boosted. The index increased by up to one per cent to a record high of 10,399.67 points. Quantitative easing is a monetary policy where a central bank creates new money electronically to buy financial assets. The aim is to stimulate an economy when standard monetary policy has become ineffective. How does it work?

January 22, 2015

10 Reasons Why You Should Invest In Vienna

In this post you'll find the top 10 reasons why your company or institution should consider investing in Vienna/Austria. In fact, we'll share the international studies which confirm the numbers and facts including its closest competitors. We look at the quality of living, the smart cities index, the prosperity, international congresses and conventions, the most reputable cities, the innovation cities index, online cities, business friendliness and other factors that influence the decision making.

January 20, 2015

Austria has EU-Wide Most Franc Loans

In absolute terms, Austria has the most franc foreign currency loans in the European Union.

January 19, 2015

Inflation in Austria Dropped Down to +1.0% in December 2014

The annual inflation rate of the consumer price index measured by Statistics Austria went down to +1.0% in December 2014 (November +1.7%).

January 19, 2015

Business Indicator: Austrian Economy Makes a Subdued Start to the New Year

Bank Austria has published its latest "Business Indicator" on the Austrian economy. The renewed decline of the Business Indicator in December, taking it into negative territory, was influenced by the generally gloomier sentiment in the Austrian economy, which deviates to some extent from the trend seen across Europe.

January 16, 2015

Slack Performance in Austrian Industry Continues

Bank Austria Purchasing Managers' Index rises 0.5 points to 47.4, but Austrian industry contracts again in November.

November 27, 2014

Business Indicator: Economy at a Standstill - Revival in 2015 Requires New Stimulus

Bank Austria has published its latest "Business Indicator" on the Austrian economy. The bank's indicator shows that a slight improvement in the business indicator in October - yet minimal rise to neutral territory signals ongoing stagnation

November 17, 2014

"How's Austria?" Indicator 2014 has been Published

Economic growth is not identical with progress and wealth, as the updated indicator set "How's Austria?" shows: Decline in material wealth, environmental situation still critical and ambivalent picture regarding quality of life.

November 11, 2014

Government Debt Increased to 82.6% of GDP in Austria and to 92.7% in Euro Area

At the end of the second quarter of 2014, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area (EA18) stood at 92.7%, compared with 91.9% at the end of the first quarter of 2014. Austria's government debt rose to 82.6 percent of GDP in Q2 2014 from 81.3 percent in Q1.

October 23, 2014

Corporate Bond Market Comment by Raiffeisen Research: OMV, Kapsch TrafficCom, Telekom Austria

"The slight correction on credit markets that lasted until the middle of last week was calmed by speculations of a possible extension of the US Fed’s expansive monetary policy stance, as well as thus far also unconfirmed reports that the ECB might expand its bond purchases to the corporate bond sector. This slight relaxation was also observable in the stock market volatility, measured by the VDAX. This indicator rose to 23.57% p.a. last week and by yesterday had fallen to 17.75% p.a." Raiffeisen Research is seeing similar market developments in their Austrian Corporate Index.

October 23, 2014

Business Indicator: Dip in Economic Activity Towards End of Year, but Hope Remains for 2015

Bank Austria has published its latest "Business Indicator" on the Austrian economy. The Bank's analysts believe that in light of the increasing uncertainty in recent months, the moderate recovery achieved by the European and therefore the Austrian economy too this year is taking a breather. The Russia/Ukraine crisis and the tensions in the Middle East have blighted sentiment in the Austrian economy at the start of autumn on a broad scale.

October 17, 2014

Austrian Chamber of Commerce Hosts the "Make in India" Launch Event

The Indian Embassy in Vienna in cooperation with the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, organized the "Make in India" launch event at the WKO in Vienna. The main focus of the event was the recently announced “Make in India” campaign.

October 15, 2014