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OECD assigns good grades for Austria

Railway track © photocase.com/dancerP

© photocase.com/dancerP

14. September 2011

In comparison with other nations, Austria is among the strongest of the OECD countries.

The latest OECD survey published in July 11th, 2011 observes that “The Austrian economy has weathered the crisis well on the back of an export led recovery”. Nonetheless the OECD also indicates that in order to obtain the high level, Austria has to carry out far-reaching reforms in education, healthcare and the pension system as well as in the social sector. OECD Secretary General Ángel Gurría suggests pushing reforms forward as fast as possible. Furthermore the survey points out that the tax burden should be reduced and switched from labor and entrepreneurship towards property.

Benefiting from economic stimulus programs and the surge in export activities, Austria seems to be back on the track. As a result a certain sense of optimism is gaining ground.

Youth and long term unemployment as well as the unemployment rate (4.4% in the first quarter of 2011) are on a low level, which indicates a good condition of the Austrian labor market. Main reasons therefore are the active labor market policies and the extensive social partnership. Furthermore OECD praises the equitable access and the good quality of the healthcare services but also indicates that the funding structure of the system is excessively fragmented, which leads to inefficiency. Additionally cost pressure will increase in the years ahead due to over ageing and necessary investments in technology.

To put it in a nutshell, Austria is on a good way but still has a lot of work to do to remain there.

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