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Country Forecast Austria June 2017

Country Forecast Austria June 2017

  • June 2017
  • ID: 2556192
  • Format: PDF

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Policy towards private enterprise and competition


2017-18: Government works on reducing red tape, but progress is likely to be limited. Barriers to entry to network industries are likely to persist.


2019-21: Modest strengthening of the competition authority's powers. Administrative reform reduces red tape. More transparency in antitrust proceedings. Risk of political interference in private firms in which state owns substantial stakes.


Policy towards foreign investment


2017-18: Foreign investment is generally welcome, but underlying opposition to takeovers of "national champions" persists.


2019-21: Possible erosion of barriers against foreign takeovers as a result of commercial pressure and EU legislation.


Foreign trade and exchange controls


2017-18: No exchange controls. Foreign trade, governed by EU rules, should remain liberal. Progress on liberalisation of trade in services.


2019-21: EU likely to accelerate shift towards bilateral free-trade agreements as multilateral trade negotiations stagnate. Little progress on EU-US trade deal. Free-trade agreement between the EU and the UK.


Taxes


2017-18: No significant changes to the tax system, owing in part to a likely deterioration in government effectiveness.


2019-21: Some tax reform is likely assuming a government including the Freedom Party (FPÖ) takes power in 2017. Vested interests will continue to hamper large-scale reform and the high tax burden will remain.


Financing


2017-18: Financial stability to improve amid tighter regulatory requirements and a reduction in risk from exposure to central and eastern Europe. Credit conditions ease gradually as banks' profitability recovers.


2019-21: Introduction of systemic risk buffer of banks' risk-weighted assets. Further uptake in corporate bond issuance.


The labour market


2017-18: Economy-wide minimum wage is introduced. More stringent requirements for early retirement and invalidity pensions. Labour market slowly improves as increase in labour supply moderates and unemployment starts to drop.


2019-21: Continued expansion of labour supply, primarily via net immigration, but concerns about shortage of skilled employees in certain sectors are likely to persist. Early retirement phased out.


Infrastructure


2017-18: Further take-up of broadband services. Gradual improvement of transport links with eastern Europe.


2019-21: Improved transport network connecting main urban centres and providing better access to the country's interior. Gradual transition to low-carbon economy entails significant changes to electricity transmission infrastructure.



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