Drop of 12.1% in Austrian GDP in 2nd quarter 2020

The Austrian economy dropped by 12.1% in volume terms (seasonal and working day adjusted) during the 2nd quarter of 2020 compared to the 1st quarter of 2020 and by 14.3% (unadjusted in real terms) compared to the 2nd quarter of 2019. The measures to control the spread of COVID-19 affected nearly all economic indicators. However, due to the current exceptional economic situation, major revisions of data are possible. 

The quarterly main aggregates of National Accounts were revised and benchmarked to the newly published annual accounts. Starting in September 2020, STATISTICS AUSTRIA compiles and publishes QNA. Therefore, there is a revision of the time series back to 1995 compared to the previously published figures, compiled by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO).

Private consumption declined by 12.6% in volume terms compared to the previous quarter (-16.1% compared to Q2 2019), mainly due to the lockdown of leisure services (accommodation, food service, arts and entertainment). Consumption of housing (rents, electricity) and food/beverages recorded slight growth.

Capital formation fell by 7.5% in volume terms compared to Q1 2020 (-12.3% compared to Q2 2019). Capital formation in transportation and in machinery were particularly affected, with a decline by -14.8% in volume terms compared to Q1 2020 (-41.0% compared to Q2 2019) and by -12.9% (-19.7% compared to Q2 2019), respectively. Capital formation in construction also recorded a decrease (-7.4% in volume terms compared to Q1 2020; -8.1% compared to Q2 2019).

Foreign trade has already slowed down in 2019. Imports declined from Q2 2019 on and were severely hit in Q2 2020, when the decline reached -13.2% in volume terms compared to Q1 2020 (-17.4% compared to Q2 2019). Goods and services were affected equally. Exports show a similar pattern (-13.2% in volume terms compared to Q1 2020; -18.1% compared to Q2 2019). The absence of tourists is reflected in a significant decrease of exports of services by -14.6% in volume terms compared to Q1 2020 (-20.9% compared to Q2 2019).

The COVID-19 measures also left their mark in the service sector, with accommodation and food services being affected mostly. They recorded a decline of -65.2% in volume terms compared to Q1 2020 (-61.1% compared to Q2 2019). As expected, arts, entertainment and recreation also suffered losses (-27.0% in volume terms compared to Q1 2020; -35.3% compared to Q2 2019).

In total, each economic activity recorded negative volume growth in Q2 2020 compared to the first quarter in 2020. However, the negative impacts differ substantially. Real estate activities (-0.7% in volume terms compared to Q1 2020; +2.2% compared to Q2 2019), health and public administration (-0.5% in volume terms compared to Q1 2020; -0.6% compared to Q2 2019) as well as information and communication (-1.3% in volume terms compared to Q1 2020; +1.1% compared to Q2 2019) were hardly affected. Similar to the development of foreign trade, manufacturing already slowed down in 2019. The lockdown then led to another remarkable slump by -15.6% in terms of volume, compared to Q1 2020 (-18.4% compared to Q2 2019).

The overall tense economic situation is also reflected in employment indicators. The measures concerning short-term work resulted in a decline of hours worked by 12.9% compared to Q1 2020 (-16.6% compared to Q2 2019), but kept the decline of employment relatively small (-4.5% compared to Q1 2020; -4.9% compared to Q2 2019). Compensation of employees fell by 7.2% in current prices compared to Q1 2020, and by 6.2% compared to Q2 2019.

GDP by industry according to ESA 2010 – seasonally and calendar adjusted
GDP by industry according to ESA 2010 – unadjusted
GDP income approach according to ESA 2010 – adjusted
GDP income approach according to ESA 2010 – unadjusted
GDP expenditure approach according to ESA 2010 – seasonally and calendar adjusted
GDP expenditure approach according to ESA 2010 – unadjusted
Labour inputs
Employment by industry (persons)
Unit labour cost, labour productivity


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