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Austria is still doing well after the year of global turbulence

Austrian flag flying in the wind © photocase.com/rachel

© photocase.com/rachel

6 May 2010

Austria's economic performance is enviable when compared to other EU countries. Recent years have repeatedly seen much higher GDP growth than other EU states, especially those in the Euro zone.

In the years leading up to 2009, the year of the global economic crisis, the Austrian economy recorded growth rates which were between 0.4% and 1.4% higher than Euro zone growth. Austria was also characterised by a higher prosperity level (measured by GDP per capita and purchasing power parity) than in other Euro-zone countries and markedly higher than the EU average: in 2008, Austria was 13.6% higher than the Euro-zone average. Furthermore, Austria has been reporting trade surpluses every year since 2002. One reason for the good performance is that Austria’s economic structure is extremely well balanced and therefore well equipped to deal with crises in individual sectors.

Foreign trade is another important factor for the Austrian economy. The export industry has a wide regional spread and low exchange risks as the majority of business is conducted within the Euro zone. Last year over 70% of goods exported went to EU member countries. However, the focus is continuing to shift away from the original EU-15 to the 12 “new” member states.

Other positive aspects of Austria which make the country particularly appealing as an investment prospect include low unemployment (compared to the rest of the EU), low strike rates, as well as stability, safety and security. Finally, Austria’s top position in terms of economic policy targets must be mentioned: Austria is well above the Euro-zone average when it comes to unemployment rates, GDP per capita, trade balance and national debt.

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