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Austria’s Global Exports Experienced Strong Growth in 2007

Euro © photocase.com/Chobe

© photocase.com/Chobe

March 12, 2008

Shipments Increased by 10.1%

In 2007 the Austrian economy exported EUR 396M more than it imported, thereby bringing its oftentimes negative balance of trade back into the positive. Altogether Austrian exporters increased their shipments by 10.1% to EUR 114.19 b, where imports “only” grew by 9.3% to EUR 113.8 b.

The majority of these exports are in reality not exports at all: about three-fourths of exports go to the EU (and about three-fourths of imports come from there), thereby remaining in the EU domestic market.

In “real” foreign trade, namely that with “non-EU countries,” the success of Austrian exporters was even more impressive: while trade with the EU reflected a deficit of EUR 2.2 b, trade with non-EU countries reached a surplus of EUR 2.6 b.

In 2007 Austrian companies shipped EUR 5.8 b worth of products to the USA, which represents a decrease of 6% compared to the previous year. If one takes into account the one-time shipment of art work out of the country and considers that the most important Austrian producer of energy drinks ships its products for the US market from Switzerland, you basically end up breaking even. Considering that the particularly strong Euro makes Austrian exports to the USA more expensive, this is a perfectly satisfactory result. Shipments from the USA to Austria increased by 8% to EUR 3.7 b. The USA is Austria’s third most important customer country and the fifth most important worldwide.

Regarding the published export statistics, Economic Chamber President Christoph Leitl commented that the export economy reached its exact goal for 2007, thereby laying the basis for the positive growth and employment rates seen in Austria in 2007. This year, partly because of the worsening worldwide economy, exports may slow down somewhat, but will still remain impressive. “We set the bar for 8% growth for 2008 – 50% above the economic researchers’ forecasts,” said Leitl.

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