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New FIW Trade Indicator of the BMAW provides first estimates of Austrian foreign trade in goods for the 1st quarter

From April 2024, the BMAW will publish up-to-date, high-quality estimates for nominal, real and seasonally adjusted foreign trade in goods data on the FIW website on a monthly basis using an econometric model developed by the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS). This means that current forecasts (so-called nowcasts) of Austria’s monthly foreign trade are available – with a lead of more than two months compared to the publications of Statistics Austria. In addition to the nominal values, the FIW Trade Indicator also shows price-adjusted real values. This real foreign trade data gives an exact impression of the actual increase in Austria’s welfare due to foreign trade and is also seasonally and working day adjusted. As a result, the nowcasts differ from the unadjusted, nominal values published by Statistics Austria. For example, unlike last year, the Easter holidays fell in March this year. In the official unadjusted time series, this results in an apparent decline in the growth rates of foreign trade in goods in March and an apparent increase in April. This distortion is avoided in the FIW Trade Indicator.

The FIW Trade Indicator is available at

Call for Papers: Seventh Workshop on International Economic Networks (WIEN)

Venue: University of Vienna
Date: July 5-6, 2024

Organisers: Pol Antràs (Harvard), Alejandro Cuñat (University of Vienna), and Kalina Manova (UCL)
Keynote Speakers: Lorenzo Caliendo (Yale) and Paola Conconi (Oxford)

Following upon the first six editions of WIEN, the University of Vienna will again host a two-day meeting that will
draw together researchers interested in international economics, global value chains and economic geography.
The workshop will take place in the beautiful Sky-lounge of the University of Vienna’s Faculty of Business,
Economics and Statistics, overlooking the city centre.
To be considered for inclusion on the programme, papers must be submitted in PDF format to Mrs. Birgit
Buschbom ( by Tuesday, April 2nd 2024. Authors chosen to present papers at the
conference will be notified in early April.
The organisers are particularly keen on receiving submissions from young scholars, including Ph.D. students and
researchers who have just completed their Ph.Ds. With that in mind, we would appreciate it if you could circulate
this Call for Papers among your junior colleagues, former students and current Ph.D. students. As in past editions,
we will actively seek diversity in the set of selected speakers.
Participants will be provided with accommodation in central Vienna, and airfares for speakers will also be
reimbursed subject to certain budget guidelines.

The conference is generously supported by the Heinrich Graf Hardegg’sche Stiftung, FIW, University of Vienna, wiiw, and the UKRI’s Economic and Social Research Council.

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New FIW Trade Indicator published

“We need up-to-date data in order to gain an accurate understanding of the growth rates of our foreign trade in goods to be able to promptly assess Austria’s increase in prosperity and the economic trends in foreign trade,” explained Minister of Labour and Economy Martin Kocher.

The Federal Ministry of Labor and Economy (BMAW) has therefore commissioned the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) to create a nowcast of Austrian foreign trade in goods using econometric methods and up-to-date data.

Starting in April 2024, the BMAW will publish up-to-date, high-quality estimates for Austrian trade in goods in the previous month on a monthly basis. In addition to the nominal values, the FIW Trade Indicator also shows price- and seasonally adjusted values, which eliminate distortions caused by seasonal influences and public holidays in order to allow a timely assessment of economic trends in foreign trade. This means that, for the first time, timely and reliable forecasts of Austrian foreign trade are available. For comparison: Statistics Austria publishes the first provisional data on nominal exports and imports of goods with a time lag of more than two months.

The FIW Trade Indicator is now available on the FIW website under the section ‘Data’.

FIW-Spotlight: Forecast for foreign trade in goods 2023 and 2024

The huge rise in prices and sudden shock in energy costs from the previous year, along with a significant decrease in precautionary stocks, will negatively impact global industrial production and world trade in 2023. Additionally, Austria’s inflation gap with vital trading partners and the euro’s increase in value worsen its competitive pricing position. Nonetheless, Austrian exports of goods experienced a robust 3.9% growth (in real terms)) during the first half of 2023, thereby increasing market share in crucial markets. Export growth will slow down considerably in the latter half of this year. In 2023, goods exports are expected to grow by approximately 1.5% (in real terms) overall. There is a likelihood that exports will increase by 2.5% (in real terms) in 2024. By 2023, the trade deficit in goods for foreign trade will be reduced to half the amount of the previous year, at € -10.3 billion. This improvement is partly due to a decrease in energy prices, which has positively affected the terms of trade. Figure 1 presents a summary of the primary outcomes of the foreign trade forecast.

Global economic output loses momentum and dampens growth in Austrian export markets

Global economic development has recently lost considerable momentum (see Figure 1.1). It is accompanied by a weakness in global industrial production, which is also having an impact on global trade in goods. Germany is particularly affected by this. Austria’s most important trading partner is expected to experience a recession in 2023 (-0.6%), while Germany’s economic output will recover slightly next year (+1.2%). The economy in Europe will also be burdened by high inflation and rising interest rates as a result of restrictive monetary policy. At the same time, demand in China declined significantly following the end of the lockdown in spring 2023. However, global industrial production and trade in goods are also falling, primarily because of the reduction in precautionary stocks that were built up in previous years due to the threat of supply shortages and energy supply shortfalls. However, the shift in the global consumption structure from increased consumption of goods to increased consumption of services – due to the coronavirus – is also having a dampening effect. The growth prospects will only improve again next year with the advanced reduction of increased inventories. In addition, most of the forecasts currently available indicate a further decline in inflation for 2024. The continuing restrictive monetary policy and weak economic development in China are likely to have a negative impact on the global economy in 2024. In the US, the economy has remained stable so far and has been supported primarily by private consumption. However, economic growth is also forecast to weaken in the US in 2024, primarily because the impetus from private consumption is fading.

Inflation differential to other countries and appreciation of the euro worsen the competitive price position

Under these international conditions, the Austrian export markets (the “Austrian market growth”) will shrink by 0.4% this year, mainly due to weak import demand from Germany and the Central and Eastern European countries and are expected to recover by +3.2% in 2024 (Figure 1.3). In addition, Austria’s inflation gap with important trading partners and the appreciation of the euro will lead to a deterioration in its competitive price position in the forecast period (Figure 1.3). In 2023, the price increase measured by the consumer price index is significantly higher than in comparable countries in the eurozone (Figure 2.1). This inflation differential is likely to shrink in 2024 but will continue to persist. In line with this picture, domestic industrial companies once again rate their competitive position as significantly worse compared to competitors in the EU, but especially compared to competitors outside the EU (Figure 2.4). Assessments of the competitive position have reached historic lows, particularly in the intermediate goods and consumer goods sectors, while the decline in the capital goods sector has been delayed and less severe. However, an effect on Austria’s exports and market shares cannot yet be seen in the data for the first half of 2023.

Robust development of goods exports and market share gains in the first half of 2023 despite adverse circumstances

The Austrian export industry proved to be robust in the first half of 2023 despite the negative influences and was even able to gain market share in important markets. It is less affected by the slump in demand for primary products in the wake of destocking and was able to maintain its competitiveness in specific niches. The development of Austrian producer prices abroad also suggests a moderate pass-through of domestic cost increases to Austrian export prices relative to trading partners, presumably at the expense of corporate profits. According to preliminary data from foreign trade statistics, growth in exports of goods reached 6.1% at current prices (nominal) and 3.9% at constant prices (real) in the first half of 2023 (Figure 3). Exports of capital goods (machinery and vehicles) proved to be the most important growth drivers. The (nominal) market share development in the first half of 2023 shows gains of 10.2% compared to the same period of the previous year, mainly thanks to strong exports of machinery to Germany and the USA. Measured in terms of exports in the eurozone, Austria’s market share rose by 3.4%1).

Pessimistic outlook for the second half of 2023, but moderate recovery in the coming year

However, company assessments in the WIFO Business Survey convey a pessimistic outlook for the second half of 2023 (Figures 4.1, 4.2). The assessment of export orders has deteriorated since the May survey. Export expectations were also downgraded significantly in the summer months and barely recovered in the last survey in October. The mood in the capital goods sectors has deteriorated, and thus in the very areas of the export industry that have driven export growth to date. This should slow down export momentum in the second half of 2023 and significantly diminish the export successes from the first half of the year. Growth in goods exports of around 1.5% (in real terms) is expected for 2023 as a whole (Figure 5.1). Given the assumption that the international economy will improve in 2024, a recovery can be expected over the course of the coming year. Exports of goods are likely to increase by 2.5% (in real terms) in 2024. However, the now delayed decline in demand for capital goods will extend into 2024 and leave Austrian export companies specializing in capital goods little room for further market share gains.

Imports of goods reflect the weakness of domestic industrial production and the reduction in precautionary stocks of energy and industrial raw materials that were built up in the previous year. In addition, the slump in the consumption of so-called consumer durables in particular is also noticeable2). This is also partly due to the normalization of the consumption structure following the COVID-19 crisis. Imports are expected to fall by almost 2% (in real terms) in 2023, while imports are likely to recover in 2024 with growth of 2.3% (in real terms) (Figure 5.1). The trade deficit in foreign trade in goods will improve significantly due to the weak import trend and, at € 10.3 billion, will be half of the previous year’s figure in 2023 (Figure 5.2). However, the improvement in the terms of trade, the ratio of export to import prices, is also essential for foreign trade. These had deteriorated drastically in 2022 as a result of commodity and energy taxes – particularly due to the higher proportion of energy in imports – and weighed heavily on Austria’s trade balance. However, the fall in energy prices (especially for natural gas) this year triggered a countermovement. he natural gas and crude oil became more expensive. According to the current forecast, the major price pressure from abroad via commodity prices will continue to ease, and the increase in producer prices for goods sold abroad by Austria and important trading partners in the EU has also continued to weaken. The terms of trade will therefore improve again in 2023 and 2024 (by +1.5% in 2023 and +0.5% in 2024), but less significantly than they deteriorated in 2022 (-5.0%) (Figure 5.3). Key imported commodities such as natural gas and crude oil will also remain more expensive in the medium term.

The forecast is based on the assumption that there will be no further escalation in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, that sufficient natural gas stocks have been built up over the winter and that a complete halt in natural gas supplies from Russia to Europe can still be ruled out. Nonetheless, potential dangers persist, and deficits might lead to more expensive prices and fuel inflation. The recent Middle East conflict between Israel and Hamas also harbours additional uncertainty and geopolitical risk if the conflict spreads and further tensions in the Middle East jeopardise the production and transport of oil. However, if none of this happens, inflation may drop faster than predicted in the forecast, resulting in the possibility of raising the key interest rate, which would give a positive boost to the global economy.


Dr. Yvonne Wolfmayr is Senior Economist at WIFO and has been working in the Research Group “Industrial, Innovation and International Economics” since 1992. From 2013 to 2016 she was Deputy Director of WIFO. She studied Economics at the University of Vienna and the University of Innsbruck with a major in International Economics. Since then, she has spent time abroad at renowned universities in the USA (University of California, Los Angeles, and Stanford University). Her research focusses on the empirical analysis of international trade issues, including foreign direct investment The foreign trade forecast is one of her regular activities at WIFO.

  1. The development of nominal market shares also reflects price and exchange rate changes. If the market share is calculated in comparison to countries in the same currency area, the exchange rate effect is eliminated in this comparison. ↩︎
  2. Consumer durables include furniture, sports equipment, bicycles, refrigerators and washing machines, for example ↩︎

2. Call for Papers: FIW-Research Conference 2024

16th FIW-Research Conference

‘International Economics’

Vienna, 22nd-23rd February 2024

Extended Deadline: 30th October 2023


The Research Centre International Economics – FIW announces its 16 th Research Conference ‘International Economics’ and invites the submission of (full) working papers to be presented at the conference. The main objective of the conference is to provide a platform for economists working in the field of ‘International Economics’ to present recent research. Papers from Ph.D. students, young faculty members and young researchers in similar positions are particularly welcome as the conference aims to support and encourage young economists by providing an opportunity to present their work to fellow junior economists as well as experienced senior researchers. The conference also aims at bringing together researchers and policy makers to provide a forum for discussion on how empirical evidence can more effectively inform actual economic policy making.


The 16th FIW Research Conference on ‘International Economics’ will take place on Thursday, 22nd February 2024 and Friday, 23rd February 2024 at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Vienna), Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna.


We invite the submission of (full) working papers on all topics in the field of International Economics.

Please submit your working papers via
until 30th October 2023.

Selection decisions will be communicated in December 2023. Uploaded submissions can be updated until the end of the extended deadline.


Two prizes for the best contributions to the Research Conference will be awarded – the‘Best Conference Paper Award 24’ and the ‘Young Economist Award 24’. Each award is worth € 1000.
The ‘Young Economist Award 24’ is intended for Ph.D. students, young faculty members and young researchers in similar positions. To be considered for this award all authors of the paper have to be 34 or younger at the time of submission.


The broad topic of the conference is ‘International Economics’. This includes, inter alia, International Trade, International Factor Movements, Economic Integration, Effects of international economic activities on Climate Change, Trade Policy, International Trade Organizations, Economic Growth of Open Economies, Multinational Firms, Global Value Chains, International Macroeconomics and other related fields.


The 16th FIW-Research Conference ‘International Economics is organized by FIW with support from the Program Committee and the Austrian Federal Ministries for Education Science and Research (BMBFW) and Labour and Economy (BMAW).


The FIW – Research Centre International Economics ( is a cooperation between the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), the University Vienna, the Johannes Kepler University Linz and the University of Innsbruck, WIFO, wiiw and WSR. FIW is grateful for financial support by the Austrian Federal Ministries for Education, Research and Science (BMBFW) and Labour and Economy (BMAW).

Program Committee

Harald Oberhofer (FIW, WU Vienna, WIFO)
Julia Bachtrögler-Unger (WIFO)
Marta Bisztray (KTRK, Budapest)
Jesus Crespo-Cuaresma (WU Vienna)
Alejandro Cunat (University of Vienna)
Peter Egger (ETH Zürich)
Katharina Erhardt (HHU Düsseldorf, DICE)
Harald Fadinger (University of Mannheim)
Gabriel Felbermayr (WIFO, WU Vienna)
Lisandra Flach (LMU Munich)
Michael Irlacher (JKU Linz)
Inga Heiland (University of Oslo)
Mario Holzner (wiiw)
Mario Larch (University of Bayreuth)
Dalia Marin (TU Munich)
Karin Mayr-Dorn (JKU Linz)
Birgit Meyer (WIFO)
Katrin Rabitsch (WU Vienna)
Michael Pfaffermayr (University of Innsbruck)
Robert Stehrer (wiiw)
Roman Stöllinger (TU Delft)
Joschka Wanner (University of Würzburg)
Yvonne Wolfmayr (WIFO)

The conference programme will be published on and
Attendance of the FIW Research Conference is free of charge.
The conference language is English. Travel expenses will not be refunded.

Download Call for Papers (PDF)

Sponsorship for Women in Economic Research

FIW Award for PhD theses in the field of International Economics

Submission deadline: 15 November 2023

Within the framework of the Research Centre International Economics” the “FIW Award” is offered to promote excellent young female researchers in the field of International Economics

The award is intended for qualified female researchers up to the age of 35 who have written a PhD thesis at an Austrian university in the field of international economics or Austrian citizens who have written their thesis at a university abroad.

The “FIW Award” aims to make outstanding research work by women visible and to award prizes. The goal is to motivate women to pursue an academic career.tiviert werden, eine wissenschaftliche Karriere einzuschlagen.

The total amount of the award is € 5,000.00 and can be divided among several young women scientists. The actual distribution of the prize money depends on the quality and number of submissions. 

Funding is available for theoretical, empirical and economic policy theses on the following topics:

Foreign trade, direct investment, development economics, European integration, geoeconomics, globalisation, international financial markets, international trade and financial institutions, international macroeconomics, international economic development, international trade, international competition, multinational enterprises, environmental impacts of international economic activities, economic effects of migration, exchange rate regimes or similar topics.

The following criteria will be used to evaluate submissions:

Please send submissions to:

Submission deadline: 15 November 2023

Download PDF (Deutsch)

Download PDF (Englisch)

Call for Proposals – Study to analyse the effects of the EU trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand

The Department V/7 “Trade and Competition Policy Analysis and Strategies” of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Economic Affairs invites proposals for a study:

Study topic: Analysis of the effects of the EU trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand.

Deadline for submissions: 29 October 2023


Enclosure 1: Terms of Reference – Analysis of the Effects of the EU Trade Agreements with Australia and New Zealand

Enclosure 2: General Terms and Conditions for Contracts for Work and Services of the BMAW

For questions regarding the content of this call for studies, please contact the BMAW directly at the contact address given.

Macroeconomic Costs of Russia Sanctions

This FIW Spotlight focuses on the impact of sanctions on trade by the European Union (EU) and Austria with Russia. The imposition of sanctions has led to a significant drop in trade, with a 40% drop in EU exports to Russia and a 19% drop in Austrian exports. Remarkably, Russia bears the economic cost of these sanctions, as illustrated by a significant GDP loss of 7.9% on a permanent basis. This analysis shows the profound impact of sanctions on international trade relations as well as the economic losses of the sanctioned country, in this case Russia.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022 has led to a wave of outrage around the world and triggered a complex response of sanctions and counter-sanctions. These policies not only have a direct impact on the nations involved, but also send shockwaves through the global economy that reach far beyond the countries directly affected. At a time when the global economy is still struggling with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, understanding the economic costs of these sanctions is crucial.

At the beginning of the conflict, studies were published promptly that analysed the economic costs of possible sanctions and trade stops (Bachmann et al., 2022; Balma et al., 2022). At that time, however, it was not yet possible to measure the exact impact of these measures on trade. The authors could only make assumptions and create models. Seventeen months later, it is now possible to measure the changes in trade volumes and thus provide a precise analysis of the costs of these measures. First, the author takes a look at the impact of the sanctions on trade before examining the macroeconomic consequences in more detail in a hypothetical scenario.

Trade collapses

The sanctions taken have had a significant impact on trade with Russia. EU exports to Russia plummeted by over 60% when the first set of sanctions came into force in May 2022. Subsequently, exports have recovered somewhat. However, they were still 40% below the multi-year average in January 2023. These aggregate figures at the EU level do not give an indication of the differences in trade depression between member countries (see chart 1). Among the largest member countries, France’s and Germany’s exports to Russia fell the most. German exports in January were 59% below the long-term average, French exports 48% below. Austria’s trade with Russia was less affected. Austrian exports initially fell by 41% in May 2022. They then recovered and even reached a plus of 2% in July 2022. Nevertheless, the sanctions also have a negative impact on trade for Austria. In January 2023, exports were still 19% below the multi-year average. The different trade effects between the member states show that the countries trade very different goods with Russia. Each “basket of goods” contains different shares of sanctioned goods and services. For example, the Austrian export mix contains an above-average number of non-sanctioned goods groups, such as food and pharmaceutical products, which explains the small decline.

In order to calculate the economic impact of the sanctions, the different “baskets of goods” of the countries in trade with Russia must be taken into account. To do this, the author first calculates the sanction effect at the level of different product groups using the so-called “gravity equation” from the international trade literature (Head and Mayer, 2014). Subsequently, the author uses these sanction effects in a model of international trade (Felbermayr et al., 2023). This allows the author to explore the following “what if” scenario: What would the world look like if there were only the Russia sanctions, but all other economic influencing factors were held constant? Since all other influencing factors are excluded – for example, other crises or political measures in the past year – the “pure” effect of the sanctions can be examined.

Russia bears the brunt

The calculations show that Russia clearly bears the costs of the sanctions (see chart 2). Russian GDP falls by 7.9% in the long term due to the sanctions imposed by the West and Russian counter-sanctions. This means that the sanctions alone permanently lower the level of the Russian economy. In other words, without the sanctions, Russian society would be 7.9% “richer”. The effect remains even if the Russian economy were to grow again in real terms in the future.

In contrast, GDP in the EU decreases by only 0.21%. This corresponds to a sum of 33 billion euros. Of the large member states, Germany is the hardest hit. German GDP falls by 0.26%. This is mainly due to its dependence on energy imports from Russia. In Austria, GDP falls by 0.2% and is thus slightly below the EU average.

Austrian exports fall by 1.7%. Pharmaceutical products (-9.5%) and other transport equipment (-8.6%) are the most affected. Machinery and equipment (-4%) and electronic equipment (-2.2%) are other export-strong sectors that are negatively affected (see chart 3). However, some sectors also benefit from the sanctions. Not surprisingly, exports of petroleum (11.9%) increase significantly. Austria can take over part of the lost Russian exports here. The production of petroleum refers to the processing of crude oil. Austria does not produce oil, but processes more imported oil than before the sanctions, when petroleum was also imported directly from Russia to the EU. Other sectors that benefit from the sanctions are the production and casting of metals and the mining of metal ores, whose exports each increase by 1.6%.

The analysis of the Russia sanctions highlights the complex and far-reaching impact of policy measures on the global economy. While the sanctions hit Russia significantly, with a long-term GDP loss of 7.9%, the impact on the EU as a whole is smaller but still noticeable. The Austrian economy can absorb some of the West’s sanctioned trade flows with Russia. However, it is not enough to offset the economic costs for Austria.


Hendrik Mahlkow has been working an an economist in the WIFO Research Group “Industrial, Innovation and International Economics” since 2023. He is a quantitative trade economist who is mainly interested in environmental economics and geopolitics. Using large computational general equilibrium models, he calculates so-called counterfactual scenarios: “what-if” considerations that allow to evaluate planned policy measures ex ante, or to review already implemented measures ex post. He is pursuing a PhD in Quantitative Economics at the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel. Most recently, he spent a research semester at the University of California, Berkeley.


  1. Bachmann, Ruediger, David Baqaee, Christian Bayer, Moritz Kuhn, Andreas Löschel, Benjamin Moll, Andreas Peichl, Karen Pittel, and Moritz Schularick, “What if? The economic effects for Germany of a stop of energy imports from Russia,” Technical Report, ECONtribute Policy Brief 2022.
  2. Balma, Lacina, Tobias Heidland, Sebastian Jävervall, Hendrik Mahlkow, Adamon N Mukasa, and Andinet Woldemichael, “Long-run impacts of the conflict in Ukraine on food security in Africa,” Technical Report, Kiel Policy Brief 2022.
  3. Felbermayr, Gabriel, Hendrik Mahlkow, and Alexander Sandkamp, “Cutting through the value chain: The long-run effects of decoupling the East from the West,” Empirica, 2023, 50 (1), 75–108.
  4. Head, Keith and Thierry Mayer, “Gravity equations: Workhorse, toolkit, and cookbook,” in “Handbook of international economics,” Vol. 4, Elsevier, 2014, pp. 131–195.

Photo by FLY:D on Unsplash

CfP: Sixth Workshop on International Economic Networks W.I.E.N.

Organizers: Pol Antràs (Harvard), Alejandro Cuñat (University of Vienna), and Kalina Manova (UCL)

Keynote Speakers: Swati Dhingra (LSE) and Marc J. Melitz (Harvard)

Following upon the first five editions of WIEN, the University of Vienna will again host a two-day meeting that will draw together researchers interested in international economics, global value chains and economic geography.

The workshop will take place in the beautiful Sky-lounge of the University of Vienna’s Faculty of Business, Economics and Statistics, overlooking the city center.

To be considered for inclusion on the program, papers must be submitted in PDF format to by Friday, March 10th 2023. Authors chosen to present papers at the conference will be notified in late March.

The organizers are particularly keen on receiving submissions from young scholars, including Ph.D. students and researchers who have just completed their Ph.D‘s. With that in mind, we would appreciate it if you could circulate this Call for Papers among your junior colleagues, former students and current Ph.D. students. As in past editions, we will actively seek diversity in the set of selected speakers.

Participants will be provided with accommodation in central Vienna, and airfares for speakers will also be reimbursed subject to certain budget guidelines. The conference is generously supported by the Heinrich Graph Hardegg’sche Stiftung, FIW, University of Vienna, VGSE, wiiw, and the European Research Council under the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (grant agreement 724880).