Austria - Public finance

The government's proposed annual budget is submitted to the Nationalrat before the beginning of each calendar year (which coincides with the fiscal year). Within certain limits, the Finance Minister can subsequently permit the maximum expenditure levels to be exceeded, but any other excess spending must receive the approval of the Nationalrat in the form of a supplementary appropriations bill or an amendment to the budgetary legislation. Annual expenditures, which in the early 1960s rose markedly owing to increases in defense expenditures, social services, federal operations, and capital expenditures, were less expansionary in 1965–70. During the 1970s, the annual budget again began to rise, expenditures increasing at a faster rate than revenues, but by the mid-1980s, both expenditures and revenues were increasing at about the same rate. As a result of a mini-recession in 1993, the budget deficit widened to 4.7% of GDP in 1994. The increase in the budget deficit was mainly due to the government's decision to let automatic stabilizers work, when it became apparent that business activity was slowing down. Raising budget deficits present an economic challenge to the government. Despite these problems, Austria managed to meet the criteria necessary to join the European Monetary Union (EMU) in 1999.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates that in 2001 Austria's central government took in revenues of approximately $53 billion and had expenditures of $54 billion. Overall, the government registered a deficit of approximately $1,000 million. External debt totaled $12.1 billion.

The following table shows an itemized breakdown of government revenues. The percentages were calculated from data reported by the International Monetary Fund. The dollar amounts (millions) are based on the CIA estimates provided above.


REVENUE AND GRANTS 100.0% 53,000
Tax revenue 93.0% 49,315
Non-tax revenue 5.9% 3,127
Capital revenue 0.3% 157
Grants 0.8% 402
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