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Austria - Overview

Contents extracted from the comprehensive atlas of international trade by Export Entreprises

Introduction

Capital:: Vienna
Area:: 84 km2
Total Population:: 8.430
Annual growth rate:: 0.00%
Density:: 102.00/km2
Urban population:: 68%
Population of Vienna (2.269), Graz (320), Linz (280), Salzburg (220), Innsbruck (190)
Official language: German (official nationwide), Croatian (official in Burgenland), Slovene (official in Carinthia) and Hungarian (official in Burgenland).
Other languages spoken: Turkish, Serbian.
Business language:

Though German is the national official language but English is also used as a business language, especially when dealing with foreign companies.

Ethnic Origins:: Austrians 91.1%, former Yugoslavs 4% (includes Croatians, Slovenes, Serbs, and Bosniaks), Turks 1.6%, German 0.9%, other or unspecified 2.4%.
Beliefs: Almost 74% of the population is Roman Catholic followed by  Protestant (4.7%), Muslim 4.2%, others 5.5%.
Telephone codes:
To make a call from: 0
To make a call to: +43
Internet suffix:: .at
Type of State::
Federal Republic based on parliamentary democracy.
Type of economy::
High-income economy, with high standard of living. OECD member
A country of small and medium enterprises; sensitive to environmental protection.

Economic overview

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 industries

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.

Foreign trade overview

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.

FDI

Thanks to Austria's geographic location at the crossroad of Eastern and Western Europe, direct foreign investment has always been high. However it seems that this position of a bridge to the east is now beginning to fade since  FDI inflows and outflows have declined since 2012. Nevertheless, they should resume an upward trend in 2014 thanks to the economic recovery. Austria remains a capital exporter: its FDI outflows exceed inflows. Austria's strengths are its political stability, its location at the centre of Europe and a skilled and highly productive work force.
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