Austria - Country Commercial Guide
Market Overview
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Austria is a wealthy, mid-sized, export-oriented EU market, bordered by Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Switzerland and Lichtenstein to the west, Italy and Slovenia to the south, and Hungary, and Slovakia to the east. Germany is by far Austria’s largest trading partner, accounting for 32% of all imports and 28% of all exports. Germany is also Austria’s largest source of foreign direct investment and the largest FDI target market.

Key Facts (2022):

Population:                         9.1 million (2023)

Language:                           German

GDP (per capita):               $471.4 billion ($52,131)

GDP growth:                       4.8% (2023 projection: -0.8%)

Inflation (CPI):                   8.6% (2023 projection: 7.7%)

Unemployment:                 4.8% (2023 projection: 5.2%)

Currency:                            Euro 

Sources:  Statistik Austria , WIFO Konjunkturprognose 2/2023, World Bank 

Exchange rate: 2022 avg. Euro 1:US$ 1.07

Austrian GDP grew nearly 5% in 2022, building on respectable 4.2% post-Covid growth in 2021. For 2023, economists are predicting a mild recession (-0.8%) due to a combination of factors mostly stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The hostilities caused a dramatic spike in energy prices, which in turn brought high single-digit inflation followed by Eurozone interest rate hikes. Both Austria and Germany were especially hard hit due to their reliance on Russian natural gas for industrial production, and the resulting slowdown in Germany has added to economic challenges.

According to Austria’s government statistics office, 2022 was another strong year for trade in goods: imports rose by 20.6% (after jumping 23.4% in 2021), and exports charted another impressive 17.6% upswing (after rising 16.2% in 2021). Austria’s three largest sources of imports are Germany, China, and Italy, and its top export destinations are Germany, Italy, and the United States.  

The U.S. and Austria share a robust and long-standing bilateral economic relationship that creates employment and wealth in both countries. In 2022, the U.S. maintained its position as seventh largest source of goods imports and the most important export destination outside Europe. According to the U.S. Bureau for Economic Analysis, U.S. exports of goods and services to Austria were $6.4 billion in 2022, up 28% from 2021, and imports from Austria were $19.4 billion, up 20.1% from 2021.

Most U.S. exports to Austria fall into one of five categories: pharmaceutical products, organic chemicals, medical and optical products, machines and parts (including data processing equipment), and electric machinery. Services account for around 20% of the export total, led by financial services. Austria’s major exports to the United States are vehicles and engines, machines and parts, pharmaceuticals, and beverages.

Foreign direct investment continues to be a driving force in the bilateral economic relationship, contributing significantly to trade flows in both directions. Austria is one of the fastest growing sources of U.S. foreign direct investment, and the U.S. ranks as Austria’s fourth-largest investor source country. According to the SelectUSA at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. direct investment position in Austria was $4.1 billion in 2022, unchanged from 2021. The direct investment position from Austria in the United States was $20 billion, an increase of 8.7% over 2021.

Political Environment

Visit State Department’s website for background on the country’s political and economic environment