Blümel: Economic upturn clearly evident in federal budget
Revenues up by EUR 8.9 billion year on year – above pre-crisis levels
Austrian federal budget figures have been published for the period from January to September 2021, covering the first three quarters of 2021. The report, to be presented to Parliament by the Federal Ministry of Finance, shows on the one hand the enduring burden on the federal government caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and on the other hand the effects of the economic upturn since society began opening up again in early summer. "After the initial months of 2021 were heavily impacted by the fiscal measures taken to deal with the crisis, the federal government budget implementation up to September 2021 reveals the economic recovery that has taken place in recent months. The economic upturn is most evident of all in relation to revenues which, compared with the same period in the previous year, grew by EUR 8.9 billion and are thus already above the level for 2019," explains Finance Minister Gernot Blümel.
Compared with the same period last year, revenues grew by EUR 8.9 billion. This results largely from higher revenues in the areas of public taxes (+ EUR 7.6 billion), labour (+ EUR 0.7 billion), and family and youth (+ EUR 0.5 billion).
Expenditures were dominated in the first three quarters of 2021 by the task of dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. Compared with the period January to September 2020, adjusted outgoing payments rose by EUR 6.6 billion to EUR 72.3 billion. These higher adjusted expenditures largely result from a higher level of payments in the areas of federal property (+ EUR 4.7 billion), healthcare (+ EUR 1.4 billion), financial equalisation (+ EUR 550.3 million) and the economy (+ EUR 333.2 million). The general government benchmark figures were also updated in the overview of budgetary arrangements for 2021 forwarded to the European Commission. According to this estimate, the general government Maastricht deficit will be EUR 8.1 billion/2.4 percentage points of GDP better than anticipated in April, at - EUR 24.2 billion/6.0 % of GDP.
The public debt ratio, at 82.8 % of GDP, will be 6.8 percentage points of GDP lower than forecast in the spring, in part due to the fact that nominal GDP is significantly higher than expected.
The monthly revenue statement also includes the latest COVID-19 reporting. Up to 15 October 2021, including extensions, 296 795 applications for short-time working were approved. These comprise 117 992 businesses and 1 288 909 employees, with a total subsidy volume of EUR 10.4 billion. Expenditures on short-time working total EUR 9.1 billion for both 2020 and 2021, up to 15 October 2021.
In 2021, up to 15 October, EUR 9.4 billion was paid out from the COVID-19 Crisis Management Fund. For the years 2020 and 2021, expenditures from the COVID-19 Crisis Management Fund total EUR 17.9 billion.
"The latest data from the Austrian Institute of Economic Research show the rapid recovery in the Austrian economy over the summer. Back in the spring, I said we would have a rapid recovery and this is indeed now the case – in the third quarter, for the first time the domestic economy was back above pre-crisis levels. Our economic assistance and public health measures to combat the pandemic have enabled this recovery; for the upcoming winter season, we now need to turbocharge the vaccination effort so as not to endanger the economic upturn. Each individual can play their part in this," declares Blümel.