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Austria, with a gross domestic product per capita of 38,500 euros is the 2nd wealthiest country in the European Union. The total nominal GDP amounts to 329 billion euros. Of which agriculture accounts for 1.4 percent, Industry and Mining 18 percent, tourism 5.5 percent and the construction sector 6.1 percent. In tourism, which takes place all year round, unlike many countries, there were a total of 131.9 million overnight stays in 2014 of both nationals and foreigners. Such numbers have propelled Austria to first place in tourism revenues per capita in EU-15 and third place, behind Malta and Cyprus, in the EU-28.
The economy of Austria, when compared to other economies, has a high proportion of industrial contribution that is characterized by sophisticated engineering products, numerous auto parts suppliers and several large and medium-sized business that are highly specialized and market leaders in their respective segments.
In terms of growth figures, the Austrian economy grew by 0.4 percent in 2014. At the end of the period even slight decline was observed in the trend. Moderate growth of 0.9 per cent is expected for the 2015 financial year.
A hallmark of the Austrian economy is the high share of renewable energy in the energy sector. It stands at 32.0 percent (2014) of the primary energy mix. In terms of domestic electricity consumption, it is staggering 65 percent. The reason is mainly the use of hydropower in the Alps and in running power plants at the rivers of Inn and the Danube. To the east of the country a large number of wind farms have emerged in recent years. Furthermore, for heating purposes, biomass and geothermal alternatives are increasingly being employed.
The inflation rate, which was 2.1 per cent on an annual average in 2013, continues to fall. On an annual average in 2014 it stood at a mere 1.7 percent. The chief contributor to these inflation figures is the cost of housing, which is seeing a steady rise over the years.
There is no statutory minimum wage in Austria; however, minimum wages are generally agreed in collective agreements, of which nearly all workers are covered. Negotiated wages rose nominally in 2014 by an average of 2.4 percent. The high tax burden on relatively low incomes is increasingly perceived as problematic. Relief, especially for the low-income to medium-income groups, is being planned in the January 2016 tax reform.
The unemployment rate in Austria was 5.8 percent in July 2015 (Eurostat), which is second lowest in the Eurozone, after Germany’s 5.3 percent.
Why invest in Austria?
- Austria is the 2nd richest economy in the Eurozone which leads to a considerable purchasing power for the local population.
- Ranked number 2 by the World Competitive Yearbook (2014) in quality of life, Austria has it all and more. With highly developed infrastructure, environmental preservation and a rich cultural heritage, the country provides optimum living standards.
- With a corporate tax rate of a mere 25 percent, Austria incentivizes investment in a major way. Among countries worldwide, Austria is ranked as having the 8th lowest corporate tax figure.
- The Austrian education system is seen as one of the best in Europe when it comes to business-oriented teaching. The system is tailored towards giving students a two-pronged learning experience that focuses equally on practical and theoretical learning. This is why employers from around the globe value the well-rounded skill-set of Austrian employees.
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