Austrian economy grew 2.4% in 2018Christian Fernsby ▼ | September 25, 2019
The Austrian economy expanded 2.4% in 2018, according to latest estimates Statistics Austria.
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With regard to the information so far available, real GDP growth was 2.0% in the European Union and, thus, fell short of the Austrian growth rate.
The economic growth for Germany (+1.5%) and Italy (+0.9%), Austria's most important trading partners in the EU, was also lacking behind (Eurostat database, September
019). Austrian GDP at current prices amounted to approximately 385.7 bn euros (+4.2%) in 2018 and GDP per inhabitant equalled 43 640 euros.
The economic growth of the producing sector was 4.7% in real terms and, thus, again significantly above that of the service sector with 1.7%, resulting in a growth rate of 2.6% for total value added.
As in the previous years, the development of the producing sector was predominantly shaped the substantial growth of manufacturing (+5.1% in real terms).
Energy supply achieved the most significant growth rate of all industries (+6.5%); however, its share in total value added is much smaller.
Growth in construction (+3.9% in real terms) was above average, too.
Within the service sector, the highest growth rates were observed for transport services (+4.5% in real terms), for scientific activities and administrative services (+3.0% in real terms) and for restaurant and accommodation services (+3.0% in real terms).
On the other hand, the development of financial and insurance services was slightly negative (-0.5% in real terms).
On the expenditure side, gross fixed capital formation was the predominant category of domestic demand (+3.9% in real terms), thereby showing the most significant increase for machinery and equipment (+6.8% in real terms).
The increase in consumption expenditure was 1.1% in real terms and, thus, fell short of the growth on the previous years (2016: +1.7%; 2017: +1.3%), showing a stronger growth for household consumption expenditure (+1.1%) than for government consumption expenditure (+0.9%).
Growth in exports of goods and services (+5.9% in real terms) was somewhat stronger than in the previous years (2016: +3.1%; 2017: +5.0%).
The balance of trade in goods was positive for the fifth year in a row.
However, the overall surplus in the external balance (+14.4 bn euros) was mainly based on trade in services (+10.7 bn euros).
Compensation of employees (i.e. the total remuneration, in cash or in kind, payable an employer to an employee) grew 5.1% at current prices in 2018.
Along with the growth of GDP at current prices 4.2% and according to the logic of functional income distribution, the increase of gross operating surplus and mixed income was 3.9%.
Real net disposable income of the total economy grew 2.4%.
Employment expressed in full-time equivalents increased 2.4%.
The number of jobs rose 1.9%, reaching an all-time high of about 4.75 million.
At the same time the average hours worked per job decreased slightly 0.1%, thus, leading to an increase of 1.6% in the volume of total hours worked compared to the previous year.
Finally, the trend in employment resulted in an increase in labour productivity per hour worked (+0.4%).
The implicit price index of GDP (derived from the GDP at current prices and at constant prices respectively, based on previous year's prices) was 101.7.
Hence, the overall price development was somewhat below the change of the consumer prices index (+2.0%). ■