Self-financing Capacity and Capitalisation of Austrian Manufacturing in an International Comparison
Due to the slowdown in the first half of 1999 as a result of the financial crises in Asia, Latin America and Russia, WIFO expects a temporary decline of the cash flow/sales ratio to 9.1 percent in 1999 for Austrian manufacturing, as compared to 9.7 percent in 1988. The survey performed by the Federation of Austrian Industrialists among 200 mainly larger manufacturing firms confirms the temporary decline, but finds it to be marginal only. The decrease in costs, especially labour unit costs but also the falling cost of external finance, prevented any larger drop in profitability. Since the second half of 1999 Austrian manufacturing firms have been back on their expansive course. According to the WIFO business surveys, firms now have more optimistic assessments of their order stocks and expectations of the future business climate. The January 2000 Survey found a subjective feeling that their competitive standing on markets in the EU and outside Europe has substantially improved over the previous year. With international comparative data available only until 1997, Austrian manufacturing has strengthened its position among European countries with regard to both its cash flow ratio and its equity ratio. In terms of its cash flow ratio Austria has approached the top ranks, whereas regarding the equity ratio Austrian manufacturing is still catching up from a position far behind relative to the European average. European front runners in terms of cash flow ratio in 1997 are the Netherlands (15.1 percent) and Denmark (12.4 percent). Austria and Belgium share the same ratio of 10.0 percent. Austrian manufacturing thus outperforms countries such as Italy, Germany and France, where the cash flow ratios appear to be only slightly above 8 percent. In a global comparison within the triad, the cash flow ratio in 1997 was highest in the USA (12 percent), followed by an average of seven comparable European countries (10 percent), and Japan (below 8 percent) ranking last.
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Volume (Year): 73 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
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