Statistische Nachrichten - Summaries September 2020

Labour Market during the Corona Crisis

Labour Market Data of June 2020

The measures and restrictions due to the corona pandemic had a massive impact on the Austrian labour market. Their extensive loosening has led to an improvement of the situation overall, but some sectors like “Accommodation and Food Service Activities” and “Arts, Entertainment and Recreation” still have to deal with the repercussions of the crisis.  
On the other hand, employment in the sector “Construction” has almost recovered by now. It also differs from sector to sector which group of persons find a new employment more quickly, but in general, men were more likely to re-enter the labour market than women, and Austrian citizens have taken up their next employment faster than foreign nationals.

COVID-19 Mortality in Austria

About 4% of deaths in March and April 2020 due to COVID-19

In Austria 588 people died of COVID-19 in the two months of March and April 2020. With the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in mid-March, mortality rose noticeably. The peak of the COVID-19 outbreak was during the first half of April 2020. After that, mortality returned to the level of previous years.  
Overall, in March and April2020 mortality (based on age-standardised rates) was 1% higher than in the years before. Most of the people affected were elderly people with comorbidities such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or kidney disease. Mortality due to COVID-19 was almost twice as high among men comparing to women.

Statistics of Advance Turnover Tax Returns

Current data - Monthly results from January to May 2020 with line of business analysis of the shutdown as well as results for 2019 and the 1st quarter of 2020

The turnover tax statistics of the year 2019 presents a total of 560 892 cases of assessment, which accounted for a taxable turnover of EUR 770.1 billion. Compared to the previous year the number of taxpayers increased by 12 438 (+2.3%) and the volume of taxable turnover by EUR 26.8 billion or 3.6%. Nearly one third of the taxable turnover (30% or EUR 229.3 billion) remained tax free. From the turnover which was assessable for tax, 76.8% or EUR 386.1 billion were subject to the standard tax rate of 20% and EUR 107.3 billion (21.3%) to the reduced tax rate of 10%. The reduced tax rate of 13%, which was newly implemented in 2016, accounted for EUR 9.1 billion (1.8%). The actual amount of tax payable was EUR 26.4 billion including EUR 22.5 billion of acquisition tax (VAT on intra-EU imports). 
The results in the first quarter of 2020 showed a decline in taxable turnover of 3.0% to EUR 174.9 billion. Tax-free turnover of EUR 51.7 billion was reported, which corresponds to a decline of 4.0%. Exports, which are also tax-free, were even more affected by the COVID-19-shutdown with reduction rates of -5.9% for intra-EU deliveries and -5.6% for exports to third-countries.

CPI of July 2020

The inflation rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI, base year 2015) in July 2020 was 1.7%. (June 2020: 1.1%). Clothing prices pushed the inflation rate to a higher level due to less significant summer sales this year. Fuels remained the most important price damper. Housing, water and energy (+2.3% compared to July 2019) remained the most important price driver, followed by expenditures for restaurants and hotels (+3.3%). The index level of the consumer price index 2015 (CPI 2015) was 108.2 in July 2020. Compared to the previous month, the average price level increased by 0.2%. 
The index level of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP, base year 2015) was 108.18 in June 2020, with the harmonised inflation rate at 1.8%. 
Just like in June 2020 the COVID-19 lockdown measures in July 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 4.1% 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 April 2020 (Statistische Nachrichten 6/2020, page 439 ff.) – Information on methodology”.

Digital Transformation in National Accounts

This article offers a brief extract of recent developments in the discussion on how the rise of the digital economy affects the framework and models of National Accounts. For this purpose, digital business models like digital platforms and digital trade, are analysed from a conceptual and technical perspective and if and how they can be integrated properly in National Accounts aggregates.

Road Traffic Accidents in 2019

Decline in accidents, but more fatalities

In 2019, a total of 416 persons died in road traffic accidents in Austria, an increase of 1.7% compared to 2018. Among those, 16 children were fatally injured, this means an increase of 13 children or 433% compared to 2018. In contrast, the number of road traffic accidents (35 736) and injuries (45 140) decreased in 2019 by 3% each. The three most populous provinces (except Vienna) recorded the most traffic accidents with fatalities: Lower Austria (101 deaths), Upper Austria (87 deaths) and Styria (72 deaths). In Burgenland, fatalities increased by 146% to 32 persons.  
June was the month with the highest number of accidents in 2019, with an average of 182 injuries and almost two deaths per day (56 deaths in total). By contrast, in January and February, the two months with the fewest accidents, 20 people each died. For pedestrians, November (13 deaths) and December (9 deaths) were particularly dangerous.


Small-scale representation through experimental methods – Machine Learning for Sample Data and Geographic information systems

The inventive project “Machine Learning for Sample Data Geographic information systems” (LEARN4SDGis) aimed at presenting sample data from social statistics on a small scale. In particular, a cartographic presentation of indicators was developed. This was done in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda. For this machine learning methods were applied while integrating different data sources. Cartographic presentations of poverty, health and education were obtained as first results. As these data are not yet fully developed in terms of methodology or harmonization in European context, they are labeled “Experimental Statistics”.