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The Determinants of Consumption Growth in Austria – Results of a Representative Survey

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In the period from 2001 to 2004, Austrian households' consumption expenditure increased by 0.9% per annum in real terms, thus growing 1.6 percentage points more slowly on average than in the period from 1989 to 2000. Subdued consumption growth is attributable not only to economic stagnation, but also to a higher saving rate than is usual at the current stage of the economic cycle. To explain this unusual consumer behavior, numerous hypotheses have been formulated that go beyond the conventional determinants of consumption. In this study, the hypotheses were tested against the results of a representative survey carried out among Austrian households in August 2004. 36% of respondents said they had cut consumption expenditures in the previous 12 months, while 52% claimed to have kept consumption stable and roughly 12% of those surveyed said they had increased consumption expenditures. Among the motives for lower consumption, respondents most frequently cited perceived price increases, the income situation, a pessimistic income outlook and a trend toward smart shopping, while they considered anticipated cuts in pensions or other public benefits, waiting for prices to drop (withholding consumption) and too cautious economic reforms less relevant and geopolitical uncertainties, mounting public debt and liquidity constraints irrelevant. JEL classification: E21

Suggested Citation

  • Jürgen Janger & Claudia Kwapil & Wolfgang Pointner, 2005. "The Determinants of Consumption Growth in Austria – Results of a Representative Survey," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 3, pages 48-65.
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbmp:y:2005:i:3:b:3
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    1. Christopher D. Carroll, 1997. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 1-55.
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    4. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 185-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-357, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gerhard Fenz & Martin Schneider, 2005. "High Price Competitiveness of Austrian Exporters and Recovery of Private Consumption Support Economic Activity-Economic Outlook for Austria from 2005 to 2007 (December 2005)," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 6-28.
    2. Stix, Helmut, 2009. "Perceived inflation and the euro: Evidence from an Austrian survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 547-561, December.
    3. repec:wfo:wstudy:41042 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    consumption; Austria;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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