Austrian Businesses More Optimistic in October, Says Economic Think Tank

Austrian businesses were more optimistic in October than in September, according to a new report by WIFO, the Austrian Institute of Economic Research.

Despite the pandemic, a lack of qualified personnel, and supply bottlenecks, the economy was expected to gain traction in the next few months, said the think tank WIFO, which published its monthly Business Climate Index on Thursday. The Index reached 19.4 points overall (after seasonal adjustments), compared to 17.3 points in September.

WIFO’s status report for the overall economic situation in October reached 20.9 points (also seasonally adjusted), increasing by 0.6 points compared with last month. Results by sector varied. Retail worsened by 8.3 points to -1.7, registering its first negative result since June 2020. The construction sector saw a decline of 5.4 points, but at 31.8 points overall still remained at an above-average level. By contrast, the index for service industries reached 21.7 points, an improvement of 3 points vs. last month. Manufacturing climbed by 1.8 points to 23.6 overall.

Overall, business owners’ expectations for the next few months are growing rosier, with that index increasing by 3.6 to 17.9 points.

For the climate index, around 1,700 Austrian companies with over 200,000 employees are polled every month about their economic situation and their planned development over the next few months. This data is used to form a current status report and track expectations of business owners.

The index is put together with a series of questions and evaluations. In the course of the overall evaluation, “balances” are created, meaning that the proportion of positive answers to a question is subtracted from the proportion of negative answers.

Reported in cooperation with the Austrian Press Agency / APA.