OECD Country Reports
In addition to the OECD Economic Outlook and the OECD Growth Strategy (Going-for-Growth), the OECD Country Reports (Economic Surveys) are the key publications on economic and growth policies at OECD level.
For the purpose of preparing the individual country reports, the Economic and Development Review Committee (EDRC) carries out a review every 18-24 months for each OECD Member as well as accession candidates and non-Members which closely cooperate with the OECD. The country reports focus on long-term macro-economic developments, identify the main structural challenges of a country and suggest possible options for policy design. The focus of 2019 was on the capital structure of the Austrian business sector, the shortage of skilled workers and business transfers (previous focuses: 2009 Education, 2011 Health, 2013 Well-Being, 2015 Gender Balance, 2017 Digitalisation).
Main results of the country report
- The Austrian economy has performed well in recent years (11th highest GDP per capita in the OECD, 6th highest in the EU, living standards and subjective well-being are among the highest in the OECD), mainly driven by domestic factors such as one strong domestic demand and good employment growth but also external factors such as the good integration of Austrian companies in global value chains. However, the deterioration of the external environment does not stop at Austria either: GDP growth of 1.4% is expected in 2019 after 2.3% (2018) and 1.3% in 2020.
- Public finances perform quite well, but according to OECD recommendations, long-term sustainability and spending efficiency should be improved, especially given the aging population and the federal structure of the public sector. The tax system should be more growth-friendly and social.
- Framework conditions should be improved in order to achieve sustainable, long-term growth and to enable entrepreneurship to digitally transform. An increase in digital skills, a reduction in restrictions on competition and product market regulation (especially in the service sector), a removal of remaining obstacles to digital trade and investment, and a strengthening of the availability of risk and equity capital could accelerate the adaptation of ICT. Austria's international leadership in eGovernment could be improved by extending its use to all social and age groups.
- A large number of SMEs will face a business transfers in the next few years. The success of these handovers will be critical to the future development of the economy. Regulatory and legal obstacles should be removed and the flow of information on business transfers should be strengthened.
- Other challenges include migration as well as sustainable measures in the environmental field.
National Economic Policy Issues and Analysis: Allgemeine-Wirtschaftspolitik@bmdw.gv.at