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Economic situation and outlook. Progress with country-specific recommendations. Public finances and taxation. L abour market, education and social policies. Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure Scoreboard.
Key economic and financial indicators — Austria. Summary table on CSR assessm bbai. Headline Social Scoreboard indicators. Labour market and education indicators. Social inclusion and health indicators. Product market performance and policy indicators.
GDP growth and contributions. Headline and core inflation. Labour market outcomes — Austria.
Gini index of wealth and income inequality Trade balance and export market share. House prices and rental costs.
General government debt and deficit. Tang ible results delivered through EU support to structural change in Austria. The sound economic outlook provides a supportive environment to further strengthen public finances, social outcomes, and innovation.
Austria could also benefit from further measures to improve the sustainability of healthcare and pension expenditures and to enhance labour market and educational outcomes for specific mkaroekonomija where vulnerabilities still exist. The Austrian economy is growing robustly, supported by strong private consumption makroelonomija investment.
After several years of subdued progress, GDP growth accelerated to 1. The tax reform triggered a pick-up in private consumption that also acted as a boost to investment, strengthening domestic demand in On the back of improved developments in neighbouring countries and in world trade, investment also benefitted from markedly increasing exports, reversing in the trend of falling export market shares since the financial crisis in At the same time, the strong private consumption and investment growth increased imports, leading to only a marginal contribution by the external sector to GDP growth.
For andthe economic outlook remains favourable. GDP growth is expected to be broadly unchanged, driven mainly by stable domestic demand despite a slightly decreasing contribution from investment.
The unemployment rate decreased from 6.
The upswing phase makdoekonomija also reflected in higher headline and core inflation, which remained above the euro area average in Good economic conditions and the fade out of bank support costs are expected to benefit public finances in a no-policy-change scenario. After widening in due to the tax relief, headline deficit is expected to improve progressively at unchanged policies, with revenues benefiting from strong employment and consumption growth.
Government debt declined to Austria has made some progress in addressing the country-specific recommendations. With regard to ensuring financial sustainability, some progress was made on healthcare but no progress was made on the pension system. Limited progress was made towards reforming fiscal relations between the various levels of government. Austria has made some progress in improving the labour market participation of women, but childcare provision is still below the targets for the under 3 years old and regional differences persist.
Limited progress has been made in improving the educational achievements of disadvantaged young people. Some progress was made in reducing investment barriers in the services sector. Regarding progress in reaching the national targets under the Europe strategy, Austria has already reached its targets on tertiary education attainment and limiting early school leaving.
It is on track to meet the employment and the renewable energy targets.
However, more effort is needed to raise research and development expenditure, cut greenhouse gas emissions, decrease energy consumption and reduce poverty and social exclusion. Austria performs relatively well on the indicators of the Social Scoreboard supporting the European Pillar of Social Rights. Austria has robust policies to facilitate labour market access and to ensure fair working conditions. Policies to reduce poverty and social exclusion risks are generally effective.
Austria has well developed institutional social dialogue mechanisms. In the different levels of government agreed on several initiatives that could improve the quality of public spending at subnational level.
These include spending reviews, more task-oriented financing, benchmark systems, a reform of subnational competencies and discussions on in creasing tax autonomy at subnational level. While these initiatives are promising, their effectiveness depends on being implemented in full. Currently, makroekonimija spending powers of municipal and federal state governments remain far greater than their revenue-rai sing responsibilities, giving them little incentive to contain costs. Despite the tax reform, the burden on labour remains high and is set to increase as tax brackets are not indexed to inflation.
This is especially true for low-income earners with adverse effects on labour supply incentives. Bqbi security contributions represent a relatively large share of the tax wedge.
Conversely, revenues from recurrent property taxes are significantly below the EU average due to the outdated tax base. Current pension expe nditure is comparatively high and is expected to rise further as life expectancy increases while the statutory retirement age remains fixed. Closing the gap between the effective and statutory retirement ages would reduce public spending, but the potential savings are lower than for measures affecting the statutory retirement age.
For the healthcare sector, the main driver of the high expenditure is an over-sized hospital sector, which is the result of a fragmented financial and organisational structure. Th ere are efficiency gains to be made both at the system level, by shifting services to the less costly outpatient sector, and makdoekonomija the hospital sector itself by improving the use of public procurement.
In this context, implementing the ongoing reform aime d at strengthening primary healthcare in full could contribute to reduce the size of the hospital sector.
Enforcing expenditure ceilings may also help containing bsbi projected spending increase. The capitalisation of Austrian banks increased substantially in but profitability in the domestic market remains under pressure. Foreign-currency loans granted by banks on the local market have further de clined but are still a matter of concern.
The asset quality and profitability of subsidiaries in central, eastern and south-eastern Europe continue to improve, whereas the exposure of Austrian banks to several markets has declined following the restructuri ng of UniCredit. Despite several challenges over recent years, Austrian insurance companies have managed to adjust relatively well to the low interest rates. The winding-down of the asset management companies is proceeding better than expected and overall risks are limited.
Prices have risen particularly strongly in the Vienna region, where some overvaluation can be observed. Housing investment has been subdued in recent years compared to the relatively strong population growth, but picked up in Nevertheless, the price increases do not appear to be credit-driven as the level of household mortgages remains relatively low.
Furthermore, the rental market and social housing play a strong role in Austria, so that the house price increase mainly affects wealthier households as well as tenants in the private urban rental market. The macro-prudential toolkit has been strengthened and can be activated to contain potential risks from real estate. Over several years, immigration and overall increasing labour market participation led to a rapid expansion of the labour force that outpaced strong employment growth, causing moderate increases in the unemployment rate.
In the unemployment rate star ted to fall on the back of a further acceleration in employment growth. Austria has reached a high employment rate of The hig h proportion of women in part-time work and the high gender pay gap remain issues of concern. This is partly due to the still comparatively scarce and uneven provision of childcare for children below 3 years.
The labour market integration of people with a migrant background including refugees is also a policy challenge. So is the digital transformation of the economy. The number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion has continued to decline.
By contrast, in-work poverty is rising, especially among foreign workers. In addition, while benefit adequacy has been overall favourable, the cuts in means-tested minimum income implemented in several federal states may put larger families at risk of poverty.
The risk of poverty and social exclusion for women above 65 years is higher makroelonomija for men, also due to a gender gap in pensions. Wealth inequality is particularly high. New reforms in education were introduced but their impact has yet to materialise. Nevertheless, recent national and international testing both makroekinomija to a comparatively weak performance by Austrian students.
Students’ educational outcomes also continue to depend heavily on their socio-economic background and on wheth er they have a migrant background. Several policy initiatives have been launched to help integrate makroekonmoija and people with a migrant background into the education system, vabi well as to encourage adult learning and improve digital education.
Austria has high access barriers and rest rictive rules on the exercise of key trades and professions. These include specific shareholding requirements, extensive reserved activities and interdisciplinary restrictions. High regulatory burdens also bear on the retail and tourism sectors. These barr iers, burdens and restrictions are limiting investment, job creation and innovation in the services sector itself.
They also affect other parts of the economy for which competitive and innovative services are a makroekknomija input. Austria is investing heavily in research and innovation but has not yet managed to overcome the stagnation in total factor productivity.
Strengthening science-business l inks and supporting knowledge-intensive sectors remain therefore important. Apart from regulatory barriers, the lack of later stage fundin g options, such as venture makroekoomija, play a role, as well as skill shortages in some professions. Austria is well-advanced in digitalising its public administrations and larger companies are well placed to exploit the opportunities of the digital economy.
SMEs, the backbone of the Austrian economy, and micro-enterprises, are lagging behind. Austria has only star ted to address this issue with initiatives supporting digitalization of SMEs. High-speed connectivity in rural areas is also an issue. Austria’s economy is growing nakroekonomija and has entered an upswing cycle.