Europe > Austria

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Gregorio Impavido, Mr. Heinz Rudolph, and Mr. Luigi Ruggerone
CESEE banks are reducing foreign funding sources in response to reduced external imbalances, reduced ability to tap international savings, banking group own strategies, initiatives by some regulators, and consistently with uncertainties surrounding the future of the banking union project. In the medium term, the global regulatory agenda and the high foreign presence and stock of FX loans exert opposite forces on rebalancing trends. In the long-term, any funding “new normal” will be determined by the future design of the EU financial architecture. In the meantime, limiting leverage, the use of FX loans and promoting aggregate saving through macro policies and capital market reforms will increase resilience against shocks going forward.
International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews past trends in public pension spending and provides projections for 27 advanced and 25 emerging economies over 2011–2050. In constructing these projections, the paper incorporates the impact of recent pension reforms and highlights the key assumptions underlying these projections and associated risks. The paper also presents reform options to address future pension spending pressures in the advanced and emerging economies. These reforms—mainly increasing retirement ages, reducing replacement rates, or increasing payroll taxes—are discussed in the context of their role in fiscal consolidation, and their implications for both equity and economic growth. In addition, the paper examines the challenge of emerging economies of expanding coverage in a fiscally sustainable manner
International Monetary Fund
This technical note highlights Austria’s analysis of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors Insurance Core Principles. The Austrian economy generally performed well over the past several years, with growth above the euro-area average, falling unemployment, and low inflation. The Financial Market Authority (FMA) should investigate the use of market-based soundness indicators. Following the recent reorganization of bank supervision responsibilities, the FMA insurance supervisors will need to work even closer with the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) in supervising financial groups.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper focuses on the medium-term budgetary framework (MTBF) for Austria. Austria is part of a trend among many countries to consider some form of MTBF. This paper describes the proposed framework in Austria and assesses it in light of the experience of other countries. The general conclusion is that the track records are mixed, but that, on balance, the experiences with MTBFs have been favorable. The paper also examines the long-term fiscal challenges arising from demographic change.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the growth prospects of the Greek economy. It is estimated that exceptional factors boosted growth by 1 percentage point per year in recent years and, under current trends and policies, growth is likely to drop to about 3 percent by the end of the decade. The paper places the recent strong growth performance of the Greek economy in a historical and international context. It also assesses the impact of exceptional factors on growth, and presents statistical estimates of potential growth.
International Monetary Fund
This 2005 Article IV Consultation highlights that economic activity in Austria gathered speed in 2004, supported mostly by strong export performance. Growth of real GDP rose to 2.2 percent in 2004. Consumption growth was modest, in view of small gains in employment and nominal wage growth barely matching inflation. Investment demand continued to expand, benefiting from the improved prospects for exports and the extension of tax incentives through end-2004. Progress in the structural area has been impressive, and this has contributed to Austria’s relatively favorable growth performance in the past period.
International Monetary Fund
Austria’s 2004 Article IV Consultation reports that the economy has continued to perform relatively well, unemployment is among the lowest in the European Union, and competitiveness remains strong. Also, a gradual recovery is under way and short-term economic prospects are positive, although risks remain. There are areas of potential risk stemming primarily from exposure of Austrian banks in central and eastern European countries and foreign currency loans to households; and there is scope for strengthening supervision and reviewing the current deposit insurance system over the medium term.
International Monetary Fund
The Austrian economy performed well, but long-term problems were unaddressed. Austria has weathered the slump well. The government's economic policy priorities and recent achievements have been commendable. Tax reform will help improve the economy's long-term growth potential. Successful reform of inter-governmental fiscal relations is key to achieving the medium-term fiscal objectives. The recent pension reform will ensure long-term sustainability of the pension system. The creation of the financial market authority has strengthened financial supervision but continued vigilance is required. The government's structural reform agenda is appropriate.
International Monetary Fund
The Selected Issues paper is focused on policies to secure strong growth and safeguard fiscal sustainability. The paper analyzes the reasons behind Italy's persistent inflation differential vis-a-vis the euro area. It reviews Italy's large regional imbalances through a catch-up in income levels and estimates a growth model using panel data for Italian regions to determine the impact of a number of factors in addition to convergence forces. It also focuses on fiscal sustainability and reviews the case for additional pension reform steps in Italy.
Mr. Leif Lybecker Eskesen
Austria faces significant population aging. This will increase public spending on pensions, health care, and long-term care, while tax and social security revenues will fall. This paper analyzes the fiscal burden facing Austria due to aging and the policy steps necessary to address it. The paper finds that Austria is not well prepared to meet the fiscal burden of aging and that fiscal sustainability is threatened, even under fairly optimistic assumptions about the effects of recent pension and labor market reforms. Consequently, to ensure long-term sustainability, pension reform must go further and other saving measures might also be necessary.