AUSTRIA. “After the corona-related historical slump in Austrian economic output in the 2nd quarter of 2020, there was an economic rebound in almost all sectors in summer, in private consumption, investments and foreign trade. Nevertheless, the 3rd quarter was still 4.0% below the previous year’s level and the renewed lockdown will have profound economic consequences, “said Tobias Thomas, General Director of Statistics Austria. In addition, the results are still fraught with great uncertainty because of the extraordinary situation.
Consumption in private households grew most strongly in the 3rd quarter compared to the previous quarter with +13.3 percent. Compared to last year that is still a minus of 5.1 percent. Statistics Austria attributes this mainly to the continued weaker consumption of services. Strong growth was noted in the demand for durable consumer goods – including above all furnishings and furniture – with +7.7 percent in real terms compared to the same quarter of the previous year.
Investments partially cushion the negative
Real investments grew by 7.9 percent compared to the previous quarter and thus made up for a large part of the declines in the first half of 2020, but fell by 0.7 percent year-on-year. The highest growth rates were found in investments in machinery (+14.0 percent real compared to the previous quarter, -3.7% real compared to the same quarter of the previous year) and vehicles (+17.5 percent real compared to the previous quarter, + 6.4% real compared to the same quarter of the previous year). Due to the better situation in summer, real exports rose by 16.1% in the 3rd quarter compared to the 2nd quarter, while real imports rose by 12.1% in the same period.
Recovery in the labor market and in the sectors affected
The recovery effects during the summer months ran through almost all economic sectors. The economic sectors of trade, transport as well as accommodation and gastronomy, which were particularly hard hit by the lockdown in the first half of 2020, recorded a strong real increase of 32.9% compared to the previous quarter (-4.5% compared to the same quarter of the previous year) in the third quarter. The same applies to the culture and entertainment industry as well as personal services, which together showed a real growth of 39.2% compared to the previous quarter, but could not yet approach the pre-crisis level (-7.7% real compared to the same quarter of the previous year).
The general stabilization of the economic situation in the months of June to September led to an increase in the number of employees by 3.5 percent compared to the previous quarter. In terms of hours worked, there was a strong increase of 14.1 percent compared to the previous quarter and a year-on-year decrease of 3.4 percent. The total of wages and salaries in the third quarter was nominally (adjusted) 5.5 percent higher than in the previous quarter, but 1.3 percent below the value of the third quarter of 2019.
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