This Selected Issues paper focuses on the medium-term budgetary framework (MTBF) for Austria. Austria is part of a trend among many countries to consider some form of MTBF. This paper describes the proposed framework in Austria and assesses it in light of the experience of other countries. The general conclusion is that the track records are mixed, but that, on balance, the experiences with MTBFs have been favorable. The paper also examines the long-term fiscal challenges arising from demographic change.
The Austrian government is about to introduce a new fiscal management framework. The first step is to introduce a medium-term budgetary framework, including an expenditure rule. The paper focuses on this first step. The purpose is to describe and evaluate the Austrian model in light of other countries' experiences with their frameworks. An attempt is made to identify features that have proven to be effective elsewhere and that can be applied to the Austrian case. The paper also identifies potential challenges and possible trade-offs when implementing the framework.
This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that the favorable economic outcome for Austria is owed to a combination of stability-oriented macropolicies, a range of structural reforms, strong international competitiveness resulting from a social partnership that facilitates wage moderation, and an orientation toward fast-growing economies in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe (CESE). The banking sector continues to do well overall. The authorities are taking action to further improve monitoring of the Austrian banks’ activities in CESE, including foreign currency lending, and are also stepping up collaboration with host supervisors.