Statistische Nachrichten - Summaries July 2020

Integrated Wage and Income Tax 2017

The 2017 integrated wage and income tax statistics is based on the combination of data on the income subject to income tax of natural persons who are subject to a limited or unlimited tax liability, and on the income subject to wage tax of employees and pensioners. The statistics also comprise transfer payments such as unemployment benefit, long-term unemployment grants, long-term care allowance, family allowance and other benefits. In order to combine these two sets of statistics into a common overall representation, it was necessary initially to standardise the definition of the characteristics to be combined. In addition, to prevent double counts, it was necessary to identify and eliminate the partial population which occurred in both the income tax and the wage tax populations, i.e. taxpayers assessed for income tax who earned income from employment. After adjustment for double entries, the 2017 integrated wage and income tax statistics covered 4 556 684 employees, 2 369 651 pensioners and 346 000 self-employed persons with other types of income. The gross total income (EUR 198.2 billion) comprised tax payments of EUR 30.4 billion of wage and income tax. Apart from retirement benefits, the total income also included other transfer payments. The average total income amounted to EUR 27 300, with men earning EUR 32 600 and women EUR 21 700. 133 613 persons had an income of more than EUR 100 000.

Consumer Price Index of May 2020

The inflation rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI, base year 2015) in May 2020 was 0.7%, as Statistics Austria reports (April 2020: 1.5%). Significantly lower prices for fuels were mainly responsible for the decrease of the inflation rate in May. Moreover, the price increases for food diminished and garments became cheaper. Price increases for housing, water and energy (+2.2% compared to May 2019) remained the most important price driver. The index level of the CPI was 107.4 in May 2020. Compared to the previous month, the average price level decreased by 0.6%. The index level of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP, base year 2015) was 107.82 in May 2020, with the harmonised inflation rate amounting to 0.6%.

Also in May, COVID-19 lockdown measures had a considerable impact on the calculation of the inflation rate. The price surveys for the consumer price index were still changed from in-store collection to other methods like the use of scanner data. In contrast to April, prices were hardly collected online any more. Where necessary, imputation methods like seasonal imputation, all items imputation or carry-forward were applied; this affected about 17.5% of the weight of the basket of goods and services. For further in-depth explanation of the general principles and applied computation rules, please refer to the methodological information note on the compilation of the CPI in the context of COVID-19 in the internet or to the article “Effects of COVID-19 on the calculation of the Consumer Price Index in May 2020 – Information on methodology”, page 527 ff.

Effects of COVID-19 on CPI April 2020

Information on methodology - Corrigendum

Effects of COVID-19 on CPI May 2020

Information on methodology

The price collection for May 2020 still faced special challenges due to the COVID-19 restrictions. As in April, various methods and approaches were used to compensate for survey failures or to limit their impact on the inflation rate. Most of the shops were re-opened, but restaurants and hotels were still closed until mid and end of the month, respectively. Some of the missing prices of various goods and services could be replaced by telephone and online surveys. Where this was not possible, the inflation rate was calculated using imputations. With these, either the prices of the previous month were carried forward, the general inflation rate of all available products was imputed, or the seasonal pattern of the previous year was adopted. The imputations affected around 17.5% of the basket of goods and services, measured by their weight. As in April, scanner data was still used to replace physical price collection in food shops and drugstores.

Results of the Response Burden Barometer

Burden imposed on enterprises by obligation to report data to Statistics Austria from 2001 to 2019

In 2019, a total of 48 716 enterprises had to report data for one or more surveys conducted by Statistics Austria. In comparison to 2018, the number of enterprises with reporting obligations increased by 1 722 basically because in 2019 a quadrennial structure of earnings-survey was performed affecting more enterprises than the biennial survey on research and development performed in 2018. 56.8% of the enterprises with reporting obligations had reporting obligations for one survey only, 24.7% for two and 18.5% for three or more. The maximum number of reporting obligations was ten, affecting only five enterprises. The total number of enterprises with reporting obligations was 10.5% of all active enterprises. The total response burden for all compulsory surveys conducted by Statistics Austria was about 760 350 hours in 2019, about 3.9% more than in 2018. Between 2001 and 2019 the response burden for all compulsory surveys that existed already in 2001 was reduced by 17.6%. This reduction was mainly achieved by reductions in sample frames, rise in thresholds and the increasing use of administrative data and electronic reporting devices. However, since 2001 further compulsory surveys were introduced which are also considered in calculating the response burden; including these surveys the response burden still decreased by 11.7% between 2001 and 2019.

Environmental Goods and Services Sector

(EGSS) 2014 to 2018

Within the framework of “Environmental Accounts” and according to the Eurostat concept “The Environmental Goods and Services Sector” (EGSS) economic variables of the environment industry have been calculated every year since 2008. In the early years of the data collection only output and employed persons were covered by EGSS. For the final data of 2014 to 2017 as well as the preliminary data of 2018 also gross value added, export and employment in full-time units can be presented. Furthermore, the employment associated with public transport activities is presented. Public transport is not part of the environmental goods and services sector but due to national demand the employment was analysed as additional information. In 2018, the Austrian environmental goods and services sector (EGSS) generated an output of EUR 36.9 billion, a gross value added of EUR 14.3 billion (which corresponds to a share of 3.7% of GDP), as well as an export of EUR 11.3 billion (5.2% of total export). The sector employed 182 963 people (without public transport) and 160 425 full time units respectively. If public transport is included, 211 204 “Green Jobs” were measured for 2018. From 2014 to 2018, the environmental goods and services sector shows an increase in all observed variables – output +15.3%, gross value added +16.3%, export +42.5%, employed persons +1.0% as well as full time units +2.1%.