Public finance report
The Fiscal Advisory Council’s report on Austria’s public finances (public finance report) is published annually in mid-December in line with the Council’s legal mandate pursuant to Article 1 paragraph 1 no 5 Federal Act on the Establishment of the Fiscal Advisory Council. Taking into account Austria’s federal state structure and considering all levels of public budgets, the report provides an assessment of Austria’s fiscal stance and debt management activities, budget and debt developments at the general government and subsectoral levels, as well as structural measures and reform projects. The public finance report is based on the Fiscal Advisory Council’s own fiscal forecasts for years t and t+4 (as of December 2021). The report also monitors Austria’s compliance with EU and national fiscal rules under the EU’s fiscal framework and Austria’s 2012 Stability Pact. The public finance report, including fiscal policy recommendations, is submitted to the Federal Minister of Finance and to the Austrian parliament and is discussed by the parliamentary Budget Committee.
Fiscal rules compliance report
The fiscal rules compliance report analyzes the medium-term fiscal path implied by the Austrian federal government’s annual stability program update and provides information on Austria’s compliance with EU and national fiscal rules. This report is released annually in mid-June. By monitoring Austria’s compliance with fiscal rules, the Fiscal Advisory Council performs its function of a fiscal watchdog – a responsibility that has been assigned to independent bodies across Europe. The report also refers to current reforms and interpretations of the EU’s fiscal framework, highlighting critical aspects in both EU and national fiscal frameworks. The report’s budget analyses are based on the Fiscal Advisory Councils own fiscal forecasts for years t and t+1 (from spring 2021, for years t to t+4). Fiscal policy recommendations addressed to the Federal Minister of Finance are an integral part of the report.
Fiscal sustainability report
The publication of a fiscal sustainability report is in line with the Fiscal Advisory Council’s statutory mandate to analyze whether Austria’s fiscal policies are sustainable. The first fiscal sustainability report was published in September 2021. From then on, the fiscal sustainability report will be published every third year. The Council’s assessments of long-term fiscal developments reflect, in particular, the expected impact of macroeconomic and demographic changes on public revenue and expenditure. As such, they are the basis for assessing any risks to the general government’s long-term debt sustainability.
Fiscal policy recommendations
At least twice a year, the Fiscal Advisory Council assesses Austria’s fiscal and macroeconomic performance and offers recommendations on the fiscal stance of central, regional and local governments and on structural reform issues identified. As a rule, these assessments and recommendations are directly linked to the Council’s analyses and fiscal forecasts presented in the public finance report and the fiscal rules compliance report. The fiscal policy recommendations are submitted to the Federal Minister of Finance and to the Austrian parliament and are discussed by the parliamentary Budget Committee.
Studies commissioned by the Fiscal Advisory Council
Studies commissioned by the Fiscal Advisory Council on specific fiscal policy topics of relevance for economic policymaking are published by members of the office of the Fiscal Advisory Council in their own name and on their own behalf. These commissioned studies are presented for discussion to the Fiscal Advisory Council. The Fiscal Advisory Council includes agreed results and findings in its fiscal policy recommendations.
The Fiscal Advisory Council’s working paper series serves to publish relevant scientific work. Papers published in the series primarily discuss fiscal policy issues with a special focus on Austria. They are intended to promote scientific discourse. Opinions expressed by the authors of working papers do not necessarily reflect the official viewpoint of the Fiscal Advisory Council.
Brief analyses and information
Brief analyses intend to give a clear and compact overview of current economic and fiscal policy issues or of research papers prepared by the staff of the Office of the Fiscal Advisory Council. They provide evidence-based information to policymakers and economic agents, media representatives and the general public.
Fiscal forecast – The Fiscal Advisory Council’s forecast for Austria’s budget
The Fiscal Advisory Council publishes two fiscal forecasts for Austria per year – one in spring (in its fiscal rules compliance report) and one in fall (in its public finance report). While the spring fiscal forecast predicts the medium-term fiscal path and public debt path until year t+4 (from 2021), the fall fiscal forecast covers the current and coming year. Based on the projected results for general government revenues and expenditure and the public debt level, Austria's fiscal performance and its compliance with EU and national fiscal rules can be monitored in a timely manner; moreover, the projected results support plausibility checks of Austria's official draft budget plans.