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Significant trade surplus in 2012 reflects Austria's competitive strength

4. June 2013

Despite the crisis, Austria managed to achieve a significant trade surplus in services in 2012. At the same time it was possible to eliminate Austria's foreign debt in full.

Despite the challenging global economic backdrop, in 2012 Austria recorded further strong growth in trade. With a trade surplus of EUR 5.5bn, or 1.8% of gross domestic product (GDP), this was even higher than in 2011 (+ EUR 4.1bn). According to Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) , this shows the strong competitive ability of the Austrian economy.

Service exports were once again a key success factor. In addition to tourism (+ EUR 6.8bn), the broad range of corporate services was a particularly strong sector, with a plus of EUR 7.8bn. Transit trade and technical services also saw a robust performance while  the goods trade did not perform as well (minus EUR 7bn).

A positive effect of the continued series of trade surpluses since 2002 is the full elimination of Austria’s financial liabilities abroad. Austria is now for the first time since OeNB records began a net creditor.