Statistische Nachrichten - Summaries August 2021

Living Conditions during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic

Analyses of data from EU-SILC 2020 for March to June 2020

EU-SILC is a yearly household statistics collecting data on household and personal income and living conditions. The information is used to measure poverty, social exclusion and conditions of life in different areas. Using the most recently available data from EU-SILC 2020 – a combination of standard variables and ad hoc questions relating specifically to the changed circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic –, this article shows how work conditions, financial situation and outlook, housing conditions, health and personal life satisfaction during the first phase of the pandemic and lockdown in Austria differ between people at risk of poverty or social exclusion and those not at risk. While it is not possible at this point in time to conclude any direct effects of the pandemic on most of these areas, it becomes clear that the pandemic and related political decisions and regulations to mitigate the most urgent health and care problems may also affect existing inequalities.

Foreign Trade in the year 2020

Final results in context with other economic data

Compared to the year 2019, the turnover of the Austrian ITGS (International Trade in Goods Statistics) of the year 2020 (final results) indicated a slowdown with regard to imports as well as to exports. Austrian imports of goods declined by 8.5% to EUR 144.42 billion; Austrian exports fell by 7.1% to EUR 142.57 billion.

Foreign trade with EU member states showed a decline in both trade flows (intra-EU-imports: -8.4% to EUR 98.77 billion; intra-EU-exports: -5.9% to EUR 96.39 billion). The value of imports from third-countries was 8.7% lower than the year before and amounted to EUR 45.66 billion, while exports declined by 9.6% to EUR 46.18 billion.

The Austrian trading of goods balance registered a deficit of EUR 1.85 billion in the year 2020, down from EUR 4.32 billion in 2019. The coverage rate of import values by export values amounted to 98.7%.

Production and Usage of Milk 2020

In 2020, 524 000 dairy cows kept in Austria (-0.6% over the preceding year) produced a total of 3 815 000 tonnes of raw milk (+0.9%). The average annual milk yield rose to 7 300 kg per animal (+1.5%). With 3 384 000 tonnes (+0.2%), the largest share of raw milk produced by cows was provided to manufacturing enterprises (88.7% of the production). Apart from a minor waste (1%), the remaining raw milk was used on farms: 262 000 tonnes (6.9% of the production) were fed to calves or other domestic animals and 131 000 tonnes (3.4% of the production) were used for human consumption.

With an average annual milk yield of 407 kg per sheep (-5.8%) the 28 100 dairy sheep (-0.6%) held in Austria produced a total of 11 400 tonnes of raw milk (-6.2%). 9 900 tonnes (87.1%) of the raw milk were used for human consumption either directly or in processed form and 1 400 tonnes (11.9% of the production) for other purposes like feeding. The rest of the production was accounted as waste.

In 2020 the Austrian goat milk production decreased to a total of 25 400 tonnes of raw milk (-4.3%). The average annual milk yield of the 37 500 dairy goats (-3.8%) fell to 676 kg per goat (-0.6%). 22 800 tonnes (89.8%) of the raw milk produced were intended for human consumption only. Further 2 300 tonnes (9.2% of the production) were put to feeding or other use and the rest was recorded as waste.

Corporate Tax Statistics 2016

Corporate Tax Statistics is based upon administrative data provided by the fiscal administration. Liable to corporate taxation is income earned by legal entities. The tax assessment is carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Corporate and Income Tax Act. Starting from the year 2005 the corporate tax law was modified in two respects. On the one hand the tax rate was lowered from 34% to 25%, on the other hand there was introduced the possibility of joint taxation for company groups.

In the year 2016, 147 204 cases were assessed which meant an increase in comparison to the previous year of 2.5%. In 97.1% of all cases individual corporations were assessed, only 2.9% of assessments concerned company groups (4 229 cases). The ratio between cases of taxation and cases with zero tax liability did not shift noticeably. The cases of taxation had a share of 61.2% (previous year: 59.8%).

The taxable income increased in the year 2016, namely by 4.2% or EUR 1 327 million, and amounted to EUR 32 798 million. The corporate tax increased in a similar way by 3.7 per cent to EUR 8 311 million.

Despite the low numeric share of company groups of merely 2.9% they generated 41.1% (EUR 13 474 million) of the taxable income. In 2016 the repaid profits for losses considered in previous years were higher than the considered losses for the second time and amounted to EUR 227 million. Company groups contributed an overall of 40.6% (EUR 3 376 million) to the tax revenue.

Consumer Price Index of June 2021

The inflation rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI, base year 2020) in June 2021 was 2.8% (May 2021: 2.8%). Expenditures for transport (+6,6% compared to June 2020) proved to be the most important price driver, followed by expenditures for housing, water and energy (+3.0%). The CPI 2020 was at 102.6, while the average price level increased by 0.5% compared to May 2021. The index level of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP, base year 2015) was 111.28 in June 2021 with a harmonised inflation rate at 2.8%.

The measures to contain COVID-19 had only a small impact on the calculation of the inflation rate, because the sectors gastronomy and most of the theatres were re-opened and almost all services in the sectors tourism, entertainment, leisure and sport were offered. Where necessary, different imputation methods like seasonal imputation, all items imputation or carry-forward were applied. In total, this affected about 0.8% of the weight of the basket of goods and services. For further in-depth explanation of the general principles and applied computation methods, 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”.

2019 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 2019. Altogether 359 660 enterprises (legal units) with 3 102 231 persons employed achieved a turnover of EUR 834.4 billion, resulting in a production value of EUR 553.4 billion and a value added at factor costs of EUR 224.1 billion. The personnel costs for the 2 763 165 employees were EUR 140.7 billion and total investments corresponded to EUR 44.4 billion.

The comparison of industries and construction with trade and services revealed that while just over four fifths (80.8%) 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 38.8% and the services sector for 61.2%, while more than two-thirds (70.3%) of total investment and 61.3% 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 characterised by small businesses. For 2019, it emerged that 314 516 enterprises (87.4%) operated with less than ten employed persons. However, the enterprises in this size class achieved only 16.0% of total turnover and 17.8% of gross value added at factor costs. By contrast, 1 270 enterprises (0.4%) had 250 and more employed persons. Enterprises of this size employed about a third (33.2%) of all employed persons, representing a share of 37.5% of turnover, 38.8% of the gross value added at factor costs, and 37.3% of investment. Value added at factor costs by size classes of persons employed shows that services accounted for the highest share of value added (61.8%) in enterprises with less than ten persons employed, whereas industry had a rather high share of value added (47.5%) 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 337 428 SU enterprises, aiming at eliminating the internal flows between legal units of the same SU enterprise. The results show a total turnover of EUR 814.0 billion, a production value of EUR 542.9 billion and a value added at factor costs of EUR 224.0 billion. Hence EUR 20.0 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.

Road Traffic Accidents in the year 2020

Fewer deaths and injuries during Corona-Lockdowns

Due to the lower traffic volume during the corona-related lockdowns from March to May and in November and December 2020, road traffic accidents with personal injury significantly decreased in Austria: A total of 344 people were fatally injured in road accidents in 2020. The number of fatalities decreased by 17% compared to the previous year and was significantly below 400 for the first time. Furthermore, 37 730 people were injured in road traffic accidents in 2020. This represents a decrease of 16% compared to 2019. The main cause of fatal road accidents in 2020 was inappropriate speed, which killed 110 people. For almost all road users, a decrease in the number of injured or fatally injured persons was recorded in 2020. Only the number of injured or fatally injured cyclists rose in 2020, by 14%. In the last 30 years, there were never as many cyclists injured as in 2020.