Austria Economy in the 1950's

Austria Economy in the 1950’s


With the stipulation of the peace treaty (1955) and the consequent cessation of the military occupation of the Austria by France, Great Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union, the subdivision of the country and its capital into four different “occupation zones” has also ceased. The division of the territory of the Republic into nine Länder naturally remains unchanged. Overall on an area of ​​83,849 km 2, the Austria has a popul. of 6,933,905 residents (1951), with a density of 82.6 residents per km 2. Population growth is slow due to the low birth rate, which in 1953 was 16.7 pm, while the death rate was 11.9 pm. According to the 1951 census, 22.8% of the residents they were under 15 years of age, 13.4% between 15 and 25, 53.5% between 25 and 65, 10.3% over 65. Every year from 2000 to 4000 residents emigrate permanently; another 5,000, on average, go to work temporarily in Western European countries. During the war the Austria had suffered an overall loss of about 600,000 people, which was offset by the immigration of about 650,000 refugees, who settled mainly in Austria Superiore, in Salzburg and Styria. In the context of internal migrations, the phenomenon of mountain depopulation is accentuated. In 1951 they lived over 1000 m. 142,000 people above sea level, and 5 million under 500 m. One third of the population lives in municipalities of less than 2000 residents; a good quarter in Vienna alone. According to the 1951 census, ethnic minorities represented 1.3% of the total population. They consisted of 34,000 Croats (Burgenland), 24,000 Slovenes (Carinthia), 11,000 Hungarians and 5,000 Czechs. There were also 42,000 refugees of foreign nationality. 000 Hungarians and 5,000 Czechs. There were also 42,000 refugees of foreign nationality. 000 Hungarians and 5,000 Czechs. There were also 42,000 refugees of foreign nationality.

The economy of the Austria it is much more prosperous today than in the pre-war era. Already in 1954, industrial production was double that of 1937, while at the same time agricultural production increased by 17% and exports increased by 50%, while imports remained unchanged. In 1951 the percentage of industrial workers on the total active population had risen to 37% (31% in 1935), while that of agricultural workers had dropped to 22% (27% in 1935) and that of commercial workers and transport had dropped to 13% (15% in 1935). Arable crops cover 21% of the country’s surface and are half dedicated to the production of cereals, but these are not enough for human or livestock food. The number of cattle is practically that of the pre-war period, but the average production of milk and meat has increased. Forestry, subjected to too intense exploitation during the war, still requires the solution of various problems, but still represents one of the country’s greatest resources.

As far as mining is concerned, the average annual production of 200,000 tons of hard coal is much lower than the requirement, which requires an annual import twenty times higher. The production of brown coal is noteworthy, but it is also supplemented by imports. The extraction of iron in 1953 (2.8 million tons of ore) exceeded the pre-war level, covering 2/3 of the needs of the national steel industry. The production of the oil wells of the Austria Inferior had risen in 1953, under Soviet administration, to around 3 million tonnes, but today it has fallen below that level, partly due to over-exploitation. The rise in electricity production has instead continued (rising to about 12 billion kWh in 1956), of which the Austria export a part. Within the framework of foreign trade, exports rose from 3230 million shillings in 1949 to 22,200 million. of 1956; imports, at the same time, from 6365 to 25,100. There is therefore abalance of payments deficit. West Germany comes first among the supplier countries, followed by the USA and Italy, while among the client countries Italy comes second after Germany. The federal railways recorded a sharp increase in traffic (4.9 billion passengers / km in 1952 compared to 2.5 in 1939), but their management is inadequate. At the end of 1957, 303,000 cars were in circulation, but those used for transporting people were often old. River navigation on the Danube has a much lower movement than the pre-war one, due to the political situation of the countries with which the Austria it borders to East and S.

Finances. – The post-war reconstruction work could be carried out thanks to the appropriate American help, with which the country was able to finance the excess of imports that occurred during the years from 1949 to 1952. In 1955 the effects of the liberalization movement in the relations with foreign countries and the conclusion of the peace treaty (July 1955) with the cessation of occupation expenses and the transfer of products to the USSR by way of reparations, contributed to dry up the sources of currency income. But in the following years, the recovery of tourist flows and the entry of foreign capital in excess of the current account deficit made it possible to further strengthen the country’s currency position.

The state has played a predominant role in the process of economic revival, through a policy of large public spending on productive investments and financial incentives. The state budget has systematically closed in deficit during the entire decade, a deficit that has been entirely covered by the counterpart funds of the aid provided by the USA Given the limited capacity of the internal financial market, the Treasury has resorted to the markets in recent years. to raise funds for the ten-year investment program. For Austria 1996, please check

Until 1955 the activity of the central bank was regulated by the provisional rules adopted in 1945 on the occasion of the reinstatement of the bank itself after the parenthesis of the German annexation. In that year, a new statute was approved which entrusted the central bank with the regulation of money and currency control, in accordance with general economic policy. Credit relations with the Treasury were limited and the bank was given the power to operate on the open market and to fix the amount of the banks’ compulsory reserves. In December 1956 it was decided to provide for the denationalization of the large commercial banks (Creditanstalt and Länderbank) through the sale of 10 per cent of the shares owned by the state and

During the past decade, the foreign exchange regime has undergone various adjustments and modifications, up to the declaration of convertibility of the shilling (for non-residents) which took place in December 1958. The system currently in force provides for a change of parity equal to 26 shillings per US dollar, an exchange rate that can fluctuate within the limits of 0.75 per cent in both directions.

Austria Economy in the 1950's