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Services and tourism contribute to increase in trade surplus

26 November 2012

Austria's trade surplus doubled in the first half of the year to EUR 3.5 billion, despite a fall in goods traffic.

In the first half of 2012 Austrian exports once again outstripped imports. The trade surplus amounted to EUR 3.5 billion according to Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) . At 2.3% of GDP, the trade surplus has almost doubled against the same period last year, although it is still significantly lower than in the years preceding the financial crisis (2008: 5.7%).

While goods trading suffered a loss in the course of the economic and financial crisis, trade in services (including tourism) continued to be strong. This is a sign that services are less susceptible to crises than goods trading. Technology-related services in particular (including IT and information services, research and development, architecture, engineering and other technical services) have remained robust despite the economic downturn.

Tourism also helped to stabilise the trade surplus – here Austria benefited in particular from its proximity to the key markets of Germany and the Netherlands as well as the trend of Austrians taking holidays in their own country.