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Federal Budget 2003-04: Postponing the Goal of a Balanced Budget


  • Gerhard Lehner


  • Margit Schratzenstaller



A stagnating economy and a marked rise in unemployment prevented the attainment of a balanced public budget in 2002. Because of the persistent cyclical weakness and of the tax reform envisaged for 2004-05, a balanced budget position will be achieved only after 2007. In spite of a noticeable increase in the debt ratio, which is the result of statistical revisions, Austria's budgetary position compares favourably with the EU average. To achieve medium-term fiscal consolidation the government aims at reducing the revenue and expenditure ratios. Starting with 2004 there will be a decline in the share of transfer expenditures. Tax revenues will gain in importance within total federal revenues; a shift from direct taxes to indirect taxes can be observed.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerhard Lehner & Margit Schratzenstaller, 2003. "Federal Budget 2003-04: Postponing the Goal of a Balanced Budget," Austrian Economic Quarterly, WIFO, vol. 8(3), pages 102-117, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:wfo:wquart:y:2003:i:3:p:102-117

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    Cited by:

    1. Margit Schratzenstaller, 2005. "Budget Proposal for 2005: Tax Reform Causes High Public Deficit," Austrian Economic Quarterly, WIFO, vol. 10(1), pages 23-39, January.


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