Statistische Nachrichten - Summaries August 2020

Foreign Trade in 2019 – Final results

Data in context with other economic data

Compared to the year 2018, the turnover of the Austrian ITGS (International Trade in Goods Statistics) of the year 2019 (final results) indicated an increase with regard to imports as well as to exports. Austrian imports of goods rose by 1.1% to EUR 157.82 billion; Austrian exports grew by 2.3% to EUR 153.50 billion. Trade in goods with EU member states showed a growth in both trade flows (intra-EU-imports: +0.3% to EUR 110.66 billion; intra-EU-exports: +1.9% to EUR 106.94 billion). Imports and exports from third-countries rose as well (extra-EU-imports: +3.1% to EUR 47.16 billion; extra-EU-exports: +3.2% to EUR 46.56 billion). The Austrian trading of goods balance registered a deficit of EUR 4.32 billion in the year 2019 while in the year 2018 the balance had shown a deficit of EUR 5.99 billion. The coverage rate of import values by export values amounted to 97.3%.

Consumer Price Index of June 2020

The inflation rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI, base year 2015) in June 2020 was 1.1% (May 2020: 0.7%). Higher prices for food were mainly responsible for the increase of the June inflation rate compared to May 2020. Housing, water and energy (+2.3% compared to June 2019) remained the most important price driver and fuels the most important price damper. The index level of the CPI was 108.0 in June 2020. Compared to the previous month, the average price level increased by 0.6%. The index level of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP, base year 2015) was 108.25 in June 2020 (May: revised 107.81), with the harmonised inflation rate at 1.1%.

In June 2020, COVID-19 lockdown measures had only a small impact on the calculation of the inflation rate. Imputation methods like seasonal imputation were used for a few items in the tourism sector and all items imputation for a few services in the entertainment sector; this affected about 4.2% of the weight of the basket of goods and services. For further 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 June 2020 – Information on methodology”, page 607 ff.

Effects of COVID-19 on CPI June 2020

Information on methodology

The price collection in June 2020 was carried out under relatively normal conditions compared to the difficult months of April and May 2020. The price development of only a few items in the basket of goods and services still had to be imputed. This is due to the fact that a number of services were only partially or not at all available. In particular sports and cultural events (tickets for football matches, concerts, theater performances, discos), but also a large proportion of travel services (bus travel, package tours and flights) were affected. Overall, in June, measured by their weight, only about 4.2% of the prices to be collected for goods and services for private consumption were affected by irreplaceable missing prices and had to be updated using internationally accepted imputation methods. In May, measured by their weight in the basket of goods and services, prices affected by imputations were around 17%, in April 26% of all items.

Production and Usage of Milk 2019

In 2019, 527 000 dairy cows kept in Austria (-2.1% over the preceding year) produced a total of 3 781 000 tonnes of raw milk (-1.0%). The average annual milk yield rose to 7 200 kg per animal (+1.1%). With 3 378 000 tonnes (-0.4%), the largest share of raw milk produced by cows was provided to manufacturing enterprises (89.3% of the production). Apart from a minor waste (about one per cent), the remaining raw milk was used on farms: 244 000 tonnes (6.5% of the production) were fed to calves or other domestic animals and 122 000 tonnes (3.2% of the production) were used for human consumption. With an average annual milk yield of 432 kg per sheep (-3.4%) the 28 200 dairy sheep (-0.6%) held in Austria produced a total of 12 200 tonnes of raw milk (-4.0%). 9 900 tonnes (80.9%) of the raw milk were used for human consumption either directly or in processed form and 2 200 tonnes (18.1% of the production) for other purposes like feeding. The rest of the production was accounted as waste. In 2019 the Austrian goat milk production increased to a total of 26 500 tonnes of raw milk (+1.6%). The average annual milk yield of the 39 000 dairy goats (+1.0%) rose to 680 kg per goat (+0.6%). 23 700 tonnes (89.5%) of the raw milk produced were intended for human consumption only. Further 2 500 tonnes (9.5% of the production) were put to other use and the rest was recorded as waste.

2018 Structural Business Statistics

Structural business statistics (SBS) illustrate the structure of performance and costs, income and turnover, employment and investments of enterprises. The information is also used to compare the structure and competitiveness of Austrian enterprises within Europe. The Austrian strategy foresees a threshold sample in connection with use of administrative sources and model based estimation for enterprises below thresholds. This article deals with the results of the EU-harmonised structural business statistics of the production and service enterprises in sections B to N and division S95 of ÖNACE 2008 for the reference year 2018. 346 469 enterprises (legal units) with 3 044 226 persons employed achieved a turnover of EUR 807.4 billion, resulting in a production value of EUR 533.4 billion and a value added at factor costs of EUR 216.0 billion. The personnel costs for the 2 718 860 employees were EUR 134.0 billion and total investments corresponded to EUR 41.6 billion. The comparison of industries and construction with trade and services revealed that while just over four fifths (80.4%) of enterprises (legal units) operated in the services branches; the share of persons employed was 66.4%. In terms of the gross value added at factor costs, industries and construction accounted for 39.7% and the services sector for 60.3%, while more than two-thirds (69.4%) of total investment and 61.5% of turnover was made in the services sector. The results according to size classes of persons employed reflect the structure of the Austrian economy, which is predominantly characterized by small businesses. For the reporting year 2018, it emerged that 301 925 enterprises (87.1%) operated with less than ten employed persons. However, the enterprises in this size class achieved only 16.3% of total turnover and 17.3% of gross value added at factor costs. By contrast, 1 243 enterprises (0.4%) had 250 and more employed persons. Enterprises of this size, employed about a third (38.1%) of all employed persons, representing a share of 37.6% of turnover, 39.5% of the gross value added at factor costs, and 37.2% of investment. Value added at factor costs by size classes of persons employed shows that services accounted for the highest share of value added (80.5%) in enterprises with less than ten persons employed, whereas industry had a rather high share of value added (52.7%) in enterprises with 250 and more persons employed.

For the first time, SBS data based on the statistical unit “enterprise” (SU enterprise) are available. With the application of “profiling”, the SBS population has been delineated to 322 441 SU enterprises, aiming at eliminating the internal flows between legal units of the same SU enterprise. The results show a total turnover of EUR 790.4 billion resulting in a production value of EUR 525.2 billion and a value added at factor costs of EUR 215.8 billion. Hence EUR 16.7 billion of internal flows were eliminated. However, due to their additive character, there was no consolidation effect for the variables persons employed and value added at factor costs. However, a shift within the economic activities has taken place. The biggest shift can be observed from services to industry, which is mainly caused by outsourcing of support activities, such as IT and transport, to separate legal units within the same enterprise group.