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flag Austria Austria: Economic and Political Outline

In this page: Economic Indicators | Foreign Trade in Figures | Sources of General Economic Information | Political Outline


Economic Indicators

After two years of slower growth, which was the result of the slowdown of the global economy during the crisis, the Austrian economy has again taken an upward trend. After only 0.3% in 2013, growth should reach 1.6% in 2014, driven by the recovery of the Western European economy and in the Balkans.

In late 2013, the Government set itself the target of getting rid of the budget deficit by 2016, which will require 18 billion euro to offset the structural and cyclical deficit. A pension reform has been edupted, financed to 80% by the state. Austria is also implementing a program of trade diversification, seeking new partners and developing new products in the fields of innovation, research and development, green economy and digital economy.

In terms of income per capita, Austria ranks third in the European Union. In 2013 the country had the lowest unemployment rate in the eurozone (4.9%), which has nevertheless been on the rise in the recent years.

Main Indicators 20112012201320142015 (e)
GDP (billions USD) 416.37394.68416.06436.07448.08
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)
GDP per Capita (USD) 49,44446,62049e51,183e52,368
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -2.2-1.5-1.0-1.0-0.7
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 73.174.474.580.178.6
Inflation Rate (%)
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force)
Current Account (billions USD) 6.619.4811.25e12.9614.31
Current Account (in % of GDP)

Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database , Last Available Data

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 1.5% of the GDP and employs slightly over 5% 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 industry, which is made up of a great number of SMEs connected to the central-European markets, contributes to about 30% of the GDP. 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. The renewable energies sector, especially hydroelectric power, is booming and has exceeded in performance the tourism and construction sectors.

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 4.9 26.2 68.9
Value Added (in % of GDP) 1.4 28.2 70.3
Value Added (Annual % Change) -3.5 1.2 0.1

Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.

Monetary Indicators 20092010201120122013
Euro (EUR) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD 0.720.760.720.780.76

Source: CIA - The world factbook - Last Available Data.


Learn more about Market Analyses about Austria on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

Indicator of Economic Freedom


The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

Mostly Free
World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Distribution of Economic freedom in the world
Source: 2014 Index of Economic freedom, Heritage Foundation


Business environment ranking


The business rankings model measures the quality or attractiveness of the business environment in the 82 countries covered by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Country Forecast reports. It examines ten separate criteria or categories, covering the political environment, the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, policy towards free enterprise and competition, policy towards foreign investment, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxes, financing, the labour market and infrastructure.

World Rank:

Source: The Economist - Business Environment Rankings 2014-2018


Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.


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Foreign Trade in Figures

The Austrian economy is heavily dependent on foreign trade which accounts for more than 107% of its GDP. Trade with European Union countries accounts for about 70% of the total trade. In the last two years, the country's trade balance has been shrinking thanks to the resumption of exports, which continue to drive the country's economic growth, and a reduction in imports. Exports should continue to grow in 2014, but the trade balance will remain in deficit, mainly because of a large energy bill.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20092010201120122013
Imports of Goods (million USD) 143,063159,009191,418178,513182,263
Exports of Goods (million USD) 136,988152,559177,428166,439174,310
Imports of Services (million USD) 36,70736,92042,06042,27944,487
Exports of Services (million USD) 54,04553,92560,54359,91165,105
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 41.947.551.151.149.9
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 44.950.753.753.653.5
Trade Balance (million USD) -63114-5,532-4,196-114
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 14,05013,4758,4188,97515,406
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 86.898.2104.8104.6103.4

Source: WTO - World Trade Organization ; World Bank , Last Available Data


Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
Germany 29.4%
Italy 6.3%
Switzerland 5.4%
United States 5.4%
France 4.5%
See More Countries 49.0%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
Germany 36.8%
Italy 6.0%
Switzerland 5.3%
China 5.1%
Czech Republic 4.0%
See More Countries 42.7%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data


Main Products

- bn USD of products exported in 2013
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 3.4%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 3.3%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles...Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 2.8%
Compression-ignition internal combustion piston...Compression-ignition internal combustion piston engine diesel or semi-diesel engines 1.7%
Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic...Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostic uses; antisera and other blood fractions and modified immunological products, whether or not obtained by means of biotechnological processes; vaccines, toxins, cultures of micro-organisms (excl. yeasts) and similar products 1.6%
See More Products 87.1%
- bn USD of products imported in 2013
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 5.1%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 3.8%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 3.5%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles...Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 2.7%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 2.5%
See More Products 82.5%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data

See More Products
More imports (Intracen Data)
More exports (Intracen Data)

Main Services

- bn USD of services exported in 2011
- bn USD of services imported in 2011

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data

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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
Yahoo Austria!
Austria www
Economic Portals
Trend Magazin
Industrie Magazin

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Political Outline

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 December 2008)
Vice Chancellor: Josef Pröll (since December 2008) - OVP
Next Election Dates
Presidential election: April 2016
National Council election: 2018

Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures the violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire sent to partner organizations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and activists of human rights, including the main criteria - 44 in total - to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
same place compared to 2013

Source: Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2014, Reporters Without Borders


Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Political Freedom:

Map of freedom 2014
Source: Freedom House


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Last Updates: October 2014