Corrected press release: 12.461-052/21

Drop of 5.7% in Austrian GDP in 4th quarter 2020, decline of 6.6% in 2020

Vienna, 2021-03-05 – The Austrian economy dropped by 5.7% in real terms in the 4th quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter of the previous year, according to preliminary calculations by Statistics Austria. Compared to the 3rd quarter of 2020, the gross domestic product (GDP) fell in real terms by 2.7% (seasonally and working day adjusted). For the entire year 2020, the GDP recorded a decline of 6.6% in real terms.

"Austria's economic performance in the Corona year 2020 recorded the most striking decline since 1945 with a minus of 6.6%. GDP thus fell more sharply by 2.8 percentage points than in the year of the financial crisis 2009. At -5.7%, the decline in the 4th quarter of 2020 was smaller than recently feared. The fact that Austria's economy was hit quite hard in a European comparison is in particular due to the strong decline in gross value added in accommodation and food service activities. Their share in Austria's GDP is more than three times larger than in Germany, for example", says Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas.

GDP in Q4 2020: heavy losses in consumption of services; gross capital formation stabilises

In the 4th quarter of 2020, consumption of private households recorded substantial losses of 11.2% in real terms compared to the 4th quarter of 2019. This is mainly caused by a sharp decline in consumption of services (-21.7% in real terms). Compared to the 3rd quarter of 2020, consumption of services dropped by 14.8% in real terms. Final consumption expenditure of government increased by 4.1% in real terms compared to the 4th quarter of 2019 (+1.6% in real terms compared to the previous quarter).

In foreign trade, services also were affected more severely. Compared to the 4th quarter of 2019, export of services dropped by 21.8% and import of services by 14.1% (real terms). The recorded decline of export and import of goods (-2.4% and -0.1% in real terms respectively) was comparatively low.   

Capital formation stabilised slightly after the outbreak of COVID-19 and hardly declined by 0.7% in real terms compared to the 4th quarter of 2019 (+0.4% compared to the previous quarter). In particular, capital formation in total machinery and equipment recorded positive growth rates (+1.7% compared to the 4th quarter 2019, +2.8% compared to the previous quarter).    

The lockdown during the 4th quarter 2020 had a significant impact on accommodation and food service activities, trade and transportation (-19.7% in real terms compared to the 4th quarter of 2019) as well as on arts and entertainment (-21.5% in real terms compared to the 4th quarter of 2019). Manufacturing was still below the pre-crisis level (-1.3% in real terms compared to the 4th quarter of 2019), but recorded a slight growth (+1.7% in real terms) compared to the 3rd quarter of 2020.

Construction was also less affected by the crisis (-2.7% in real terms compared to the 4th quarter of 2019). Irrespective of COVID-19 containment measures, financial services (+3.1% in real terms compared to the 4th quarter of 2019) and real estate activities (+2.2% in real terms compared to the 4th quarter of 2019) as well as information and communication (+1.6% in real terms compared to the 4th quarter of 2019) increased moderately.

GDP in 2020: historic decline of 6.6%, services were hit hardest

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the Austrian economy in 2020 (-6.6% in real terms) much harder than the financial crisis of 2009 (-3.8% in real terms compared to the previous year). According to current available data, Austria was thus in the lower third in comparison with the EU member states. Germany, which is the most important trading partner, outperforms Austria (-4.9% in real terms), whereas Italy, the second most important trading partner, underperforms Austria with a minus of 8.9% in real terms (source: EUROSTAT, DESTATIS, ISTAT).

The decline in the producing sector (-5.8% in real terms) is less severe than in the service sector (-6.7% in real terms). In particular, government-related services (e.g. public administration, human health and education) supported the service sector. Compared to other industries, the decrease of construction (-2.3% in real terms) was moderate. Manufacturing and electricity were hit harder with a drop by 7.2% and 7.7% in real terms, respectively. Due to lockdowns, accommodation and food service activities (-35.2% in real terms), arts, entertainment and personal services (-19.6% in real terms) as well as transportation (-15.5% in real terms) suffered the strongest losses. Trade dropped by 5.6% in real terms.

The crisis also affected gross fixed capital formation, which fell by 4.9% in real terms in 2020. With the exception of intellectual property products (+1.7% in real terms), all investment categories recorded a decline. Capital formation of transport equipment dropped by 14.2% in real terms, followed by capital formation in machinery (-12.1% in real terms).

Consumption expenditures also suffered massive losses during 2020 (-9.6% in real terms. This was mainly due to the heavy losses in consumption of private households (-9.8% in real terms). As on the production side, services were mostly affected (accommodation and food services, transportation, personal services). In contrast, durable consumption goods and digital services increased. Government consumption expenditure grew by 0.8% in real terms due to the acquisition of goods associated with COVID-19 containment measures.

The performance of manufacturing is also reflected in foreign trade. Export of goods declined by 6.9% in real terms, import of goods declined by 7.4% in real terms. Again, services were affected stronger. Both exports (-18.8% in real terms) and imports of services (-17.4% in real terms) dropped sharply, considerably due to international travel restrictions.

For more detailed results and further information concerning national accounts please refer to our website.

Information on methods, definitions: The national accounts estimates are based on the European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA 2010), the implementation of which is obligatory for all EU member states by a council regulation to ensure that basic concepts and methods are standardized and comparable. Due to the extraordinary economic situation there may be revisions in future releases.

 

Table 1: Quarterly growth rates of GDP in terms of volume
 201820192020
Q3Q4Q1Q2Q3Q4Q1Q2Q3Q4
% to previous quarter, seasonal and calendar adjusted0.20.90.8-0.30.3-0.5-3.0-10.7+11.8-2.7
% to previous year, unadjusted2.13.02.21.41.70.4-3.6-13.5-3.7-5.7
Table 2: Gross Domestic Product, annual data
 201220132014201520162017201820192020
GDP, current prices, bn EUR318.65323.91333.15344.27357.61369.34385.36397.58375.56
% change2.71.62.93.33.93.34.33.2-5.5
% change, real terms0.70.00.71.02.02.42.61.4-6.6
Table 3: Quarterly growth rates of selected expenditure aggregates
 201820192020
Q3Q4Q1Q2Q3Q4Q1Q2Q3Q4
Consumption
% to previous quarter, seasonal and calendar adjusted-0.60.71.3-0.50.0-0.5-3.2-7.88.4-3.3
% to previous year, unadjusted0.11.41.10.81.60.6-3.5-11.5-4.1-6.9
Consumption of private households
% to previous quarter, seasonal and calendar adjusted-0.40.41.5-0.6-0.4-0.4-4.9-11.412.4-5.5
% to previous year, unadjusted-0.21.20.41.11.20.5-5.2-16.4-6.1-11.2
Gross fixed capital formation
% to previous quarter, seasonal and calendar adjusted-1.02.62.30.7-1.2-2.1-0.5-7.56.90.4
% to previous year, unadjusted2.55.07.64.54.70.0-3.5-12.8-2.7-0.7
Exports of goods and services
% to previous quarter, seasonal and calendar adjusted-0.81.22.7-1.40.3-0.2-4.5-18.218.0-0.2
% to previous year, unadjusted5.25.34.42.42.62.2-4.4-22.1-7.1-8.4

 

Table 4: Selected expenditure aggregates, annual data
 201220132014201520162017201820192020
Consumption expenditure, current prices, bn EUR233.64238.33243.86249.40257.17265.90274.58282.86267.98
% change2.82.02.32.33.13.43.33.0-5.3
% change, real terms0.40.10.40.61.61.61.11.0-6.5
Gross fixed capital formation, current prices, bn EUR72.1774.6375.4978.1482.5987.2692.4398.1494.93
% change3.63.41.23.55.75.65.96.2-3.3
% change, real terms0.91.6-0.42.34.34.13.94.0-4.9
Exports of goods and services, current prices, bn EUR171.99173.10177.86172.77187.41199.64214.61220.95197.63
% change2.80.62.72.82.56.57.53.0-10.6
% change, real terms1.40.62.93.03.04.95.52.9-10.4
Table 5: Quarterly growth rates of selected economic activities
 201820192020
Q3Q4Q1Q2Q3Q4Q1Q2Q3Q4
Production industry (NACE B to E)
% to previous quarter, seasonal and calendar adjusted1.32.30.2-0.9-0.8-1.9-1.2-14.014.50.6
% to previous year, unadjusted4.56.75.01.90.9-3.4-5.2-17.3-3.4-1.6
Construction
% to previous quarter, seasonal and calendar adjusted0.41.00.60.70.70.8-0.2-9.210.6-2.4
% to previous year, unadjusted1.72.42.52.52.82.81.8-8.30.6-2.7
Trade, transportation, accommodation and food service (NACE G to I)
% to previous quarter, seasonal and calendar adjusted-0.51.10.4-0.41.4-1.0-8.0-21.229.6-15.6
% to previous year, unadjusted1.42.70.31.02.80.7-8.1 -26.6-6.9-19.7
Public administration, Education, Human health and social work activities
% to previous quarter, seasonal and calendar adjusted0.10.10.30.30.00.10.1-0.30.70.4
% to previous year, unadjusted0.70.80.90.40.50.70.5-0.70.51.0

 

Table 6: Selected economic activities, annual data
 201220132014201520162017201820192020
Manufacturing, current prices, bn EUR53.2353.4355.1757.4660.9662.2065.0666.0659.43
% change3.40.43.34.26.12.04.61.5-10.0
% change, real terms2.00.32.20.94.43.75.30.7-7.2
Construction, current prices, bn EUR18.0318.5518.9619.1719.9521.1522.4324.1924.49
% change3.22.92.21.14.16.06.17.81.2
% change, real terms-0.6-1.2-2.3-2.5-0.13.31.82.7-2.3
Wholesale and retail trade, current prices, bn EUR36.4135.4136.6437.5337.9737.8740.6940.4238.22
% change0.5-2.83.52.41.2-0.37.4-0.7-5.5
% change, real terms-1.7-2.32.22.10.60.12.90.6-5.6
Accommodation and food service activities, current prices, bn EUR14.0414.4815.1215.7016.6617.2218.1019.1413.33
% change5.13.24.43.86.23.45.15.8-30.3
% change, real terms1.8-0.2-0.4-0.21.70.71.32.1-35.2
Information and communication, current prices, bn EUR9.419.8010.3610.7011.4611.7212.8713.5413.69
% change2.04.25.73.27.12.39.85.21.1
% change, real terms-0.82.21.41.55.62.19.83.71.8
Real estate activities, current prices, bn EUR26.3727.7428.6829.9031.0132.6934.0735.3136.74
% change4.35.23.44.33.75.44.23.64.0
% change, real terms1.71.90.9-0.51.01.31.11.21.9
Public Administration, Education, Human health and social work activities
current prices, bn EUR
49.3850.2651.6253.7155.9357.6459.6561.6862.98
% change2.91.82.74.04.13.13.53.42.1
% change, real terms0.40.10.40.71.61.20.80.60.3

Austria in EU comparison: change in GDP compared to the previous year in percent

Grafik 2

For further inquiries please contact Directorate Social Statistics, Statistics Austria:  
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Kathrin LAIS, Tel. +43 1 71128-7285 resp. kathrin.lais@statistik.gv.at

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