The economy of Austria is a developed social market economy, with the country being the 17th richest in the world in terms of GDP (gross domestic product) per capita. Until the 1980s, many of Austria’s most prominent industry firms were nationalised. In recent years, privatisation has reduced state holdings to a level comparable to other European economies.
Germany has historically been the leading trading partner of Austria, making the Austrian economy vulnerable to rapid changes in the German economy. However, since Austria became a member of the European Union, it has gained closer ties to other European Union economies. This development reduced its economic dependence on Germany. In addition, Austria’s membership in the EU has drawn an influx of foreign investors. Austria’s access attracted them to the European Single Market and the country’s proximity to the aspiring economies of the European Union.
Austria’s nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$479 billion in 2021 ranked it 33rd in the world, with a growth of 4.9% predicted through 2022. Austria’s highly developed and steadily growing economy is built on a firm manufacturing base topped by a thriving tourism sector.
Next to a highly developed industry, international tourism is essential to the national economy. In southern Central Europe, Austria’s geographical location and membership in the European Union (EU) place it at the heart of a trading bloc with close to 500 million citizens and huge consumer potential.
Manufacturing industries include food production, mechanical engineering, steel construction, chemicals and the automotive sector. The luxury goods market includes hand-crafted articles, costume jewellery, ceramics and glassware.
The luxury goods market includes hand-crafted articles, costume jewellery, ceramics and glassware. Manufacturing features basic processes and complex, labour-intensive production processes combining technological know-how and operational expertise. Incoming companies can draw on a highly-skilled, well-educated workforce with comparatively low unemployment.
A high proportion of medium-sized companies characterizes Austria’s industrial and commercial sectors. Austrian industry covers every manufacturing branch, from essential goods to the labour-intensive production of highly processed products. The construction of plants and systems is making up an increasingly important share.
Austria has a strong manufacturing base in the regions of Styria, Lower and Upper Austria, which accounted for 18% of GDP in 2020 with its major products for export including vehicle parts, packaged medication, human and animal blood, flavoured water, combustion engines, transformers and other machinery. Advance manufacturing seems to be the choice for companies looking to be more competitive, leading to increased production, especially in small to medium enterprises (SMEs).
Central European Time (CET/GMT+1)
1 January – 31 December (calendar year)
National Minimum Wage:
EUR 1,500 per month
Taxpayer Identification Numbers:
9 digits: 99-999/9999 / depending on the taxpayer’s area of residence.
Main trading partners:
Germany, Italy, USA, Switzerland, Poland, Slovakia, France, Hungary, Czech Republic, China, UK, Slovenia.