Statistische Nachrichten - Summaries October 2020

Demographic Structure and Trends in 2019

During the year 2019, the Austrian population increased by 42 289 to reach 8 901 064 inhabitants at the end of the year. 96 per cent of population growth was caused by migration gains whereas the natural balance only contributed a small share to total population growth. Continuing the trend of the past years, the number of foreign nationals increased (+47 300) while the number of Austrian nationals decreased (-5 011). This resulted in an increasing share of foreign residents in the Austrian population, rising from 16.2% at the beginning of the year to 16.7% at the end of the year. 
The number of deaths in 2019 caused only a small increase of around 0.2 years in life expectancy at birth (men: 79.5 years, women: 84.2 years). The total fertility rate decreased from 1.48 children per woman in 2018 to 1.46 in 2019. 
Although same-sex marriages were legally introduced for the first time in 2019, the number of marriages in 2019 was below the level of the previous year. However, the number of registered partnerships increased quite substantially, as opposite-sex couples also made use of this new legal situation in 2019. The number of divorces and the dissolution of registered partnerships showed a slight increase in 2019 compared to the previous year.

Foreign Trade from January to June 2020

Preliminary results

Compared to the first half year 2019, the turnover of the Austrian foreign trade of the first six months 2020 (preliminary results) indicated a slowdown with regard to imports as well as to exports. Austrian imports of goods declined by 13.0% to EUR 69.65 billion; Austrian exports fell by 11.7% to EUR 68.51 billion. 
Foreign trade with EU member states (without the United Kingdom) showed a decline in both trade flows (intra-EU-imports: -13.9% to EUR 47.17 billion; intra-EU-exports: -11.1% to EUR 46.55 billion). The value of imports from third-countries was 10.8% lower than the year before and amounted to EUR 22.48 billion, while exports declined by 12.9% to EUR 21.96 billion. The Austrian trading of goods balance registered a deficit of EUR 1.14 billion from January to June 2020, down from EUR 2.44 billion in the same period in 2019. The coverage rate of import values by export values amounted to 98.4%.

Livestock Survey of 1 June 2020

With reference day 1 June 2020, the number of pigs was calculated by a regression model, based on data of the Veterinary Information System (VIS), instead of a sample survey conducted directly by holdings as in the years before 2012. Compared to the results of 1 June 2019 the total number of pigs increased by 1.6% to 2 695 000 head. In detail the stock of piglets and young pigs rose by 2.1% to 1.41 million. The number of pigs for fattening increased by 0.8% to 1.05 million and that of pigs for breeding by 2.8% to 234 000. 
The total stock of cattle (determined by administrative sources since June 2004) decreased by 1.5% to 1 844 000 head. In comparison to the previous year the number of young cattle under one year fell by 1.4% to 588 000 head. The stock of cattle aged one to under two years dropped by 2.1% to 416 000 and the group of at least two year old cattle declined by 1.4% to 841 000. With regard to the reference day, the number of holdings with cattle fell by 2.4% to 55 800 units within the last year. The average livestock density was again 33 head per holding.

CPI of August 2020

The inflation rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI, base year 2015) in August 2020 was 1.4% (July 2020: 1.7%). Significant summer sales for clothing had a dampening effect on the August inflation rate. Housing, water and energy (+2.3% compared to August 2019) remained the most important price driver, followed by expenditures for restaurants and hotels (+3.2%). The index level of the consumer price index 2015 (CPI 2015) was 108.0 in August 2020. Compared to the previous month, the average price level decreased by 0.2%. 
The index level of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP, base year 2015) was 107.81 in August 2020 (July 2020: revised 108.14), with the harmonised inflation rate at 1.4%. 
As in July 2020, the measures to contain COVID-19 in August only had 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 3.8% 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 – Information on methodology”.

Tourism in the winter season 2019/20

The winter season 2019/2020 (November 2019 to April 2020) closed with a negative result as compared to the previous winter season: Both the number of nights spent (59.7 million; -18.1%) and the number of arrivals (15.9 million; -22.0%) declined, thus reaching the level of the winter season 2010/11. The number of nights spent by guests from Austria decreased by 21.8%. Also, the most important foreign markets shrank: Germany -17.0%, Netherlands -8.8%, United Kingdom -23.3%, Switzerland and Liechtenstein -21.1%, and Czech Republic -15.1%
According to the type of accommodations, hotels and similar establishments (share of nights spent: 61.4%) recorded a decrease in nights spent by -20.0% compared to the winter season 2018/2019, 5-/4-star, 3-star and 2-/1-star establishments reported high declines (-19.3%, -20.8% and -21.0%, respectively). Commercial holiday apartments and houses (share: 11.8%) recorded the lowest losses of all other types of accommodations (-10.1%).

New accounting rules and bridge table to EDP figures

The compilation of key figures on government finance and excessive deficit procedure (EDP) statistics for the local government level is based on closed accounts of municipalities. Since reporting year 2020 municipalities are obliged to deliver closed accounts according to a fundamentally revised budget regulation (VRV 2015) which incorporates features of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). This also puts at stake the bridge table on how to derive ESA and EDP figures from municipalities’ closed accounts. A final assessment on the necessary changes will be possible when gathering data on final closed accounts on reporting year 2020 in spring 2021.