The Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) expects the Eurozone to continue recording solid growth, although the 1.7% expected for 2019 is below the real GDP growth of 2.0% forecasted for Austria in 2019. WIFO is assuming that household income will rise – driven by rising wages and salaries and lower taxes, in particular by introduction of the family bonus – and will, in turn, increase private consumption (+1.7%). The unemployment rate as a percentage of the labour force will continue to fall, although at a slower rate. In addition to the labour market, the good economic conditions will also benefit the government budget. WIFO expects budget surpluses in 2019 and 2020 based on overall increases in tax revenues.
The Austrian Insurance Association (VVO) expects premiums to rise by 1.5% to around EUR 17.6 billion this year. Health insurance is expected to achieve again the largest increase of 3.5%, and property and casualty insurance is expected to grow by 3%. Life insurance premiums are expected to decrease by 2%.