External statistics

Why do we need external statistics and what has to be reported?

The external statistical data compiled by the Oesterreichische Nationalbank inter alia feed into the balance of payments for Austria.

The balance of payments provides a systematic record of all economic transactions conducted by Austrian residents with nonresidents during a given period, reflecting the degree of economic integration between Austria and the rest of the world.

Technically, the balance of payments consists of the current account and the financial account. The current account reflects Austria’s net trade in goods and services with the rest of the world, its net earnings on cross-border investments and its net transfer payments. The financial account covers the claims of residents on or the liabilities of residents to nonresidents, specifically with regard to financial assets.

Balance of payments  
Current account and capital transfers Financial account
Exports and imports of goods Direct investment
Exports and imports of services Portfolio investment
Income from cross-border employment Financial derivatives
Income from cross-border investment or Other investment
cross-border financing  
Transfer payments Reserve assets
Capital transfers  

The balance of payments thus indicates how competitive the Austrian economy is both within and outside the euro area. Once compiled, processed and aggregated, the data are used to produce a range of statistics, published by the OeNB and other institutions, such as the ECB, the OECD and the IMF. Balance of payments data provide a statistical basis for developing export strategies, play a role in international negotiations and support potential foreign investors in making investment decisions as they are an important indicator of the attractiveness of Austria as a business location. The data are also used in measuring Austria’s economic output and are essential for common economic and monetary policymaking in Europe. In addition, the data provide valuable insights for market participants operating abroad and monitoring foreign markets. In other words, what reporting agents get is detailed information on individual countries, market segments, economic sectors, funding patterns and the like. Individual companies may use the range of information to evaluate their market position and export potential.

Like Austria’s balance of payments, Austria’s international investment position is also compiled with the data collected by the OeNB. The resulting statistics illustrate the value and the composition of the stock of Austria’s financial claims on and financial liabilities to the rest of the world at a given point in time.

Reporting obligation

Detailed information on the reports can be found in the documents listed below:

BOP Reporting Regulation 1/2022 on cross-border capital transactions (PDF, 199 KB)
External Statistics Reporting Guideline Wiki
BOP Reporting Regulation 1/2022 on cross-border trade in services (PDF, 189 KB)

To learn what is new in external statistics, go to balance of payments reporting updates.

To access the comprehensive datasets on the balance of payments and the international investment position, go to Statistics > Data > External sector – or use our Statistics App for mobile access.

For your information, personal data are processed at the OeNB in line with the provisions laid down in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP). For more information, see www.oenb.at/en/dataprotection.