GfK releases 2016 purchasing power data for Austria and Switzerland

For Austria, each citizen has an average of €22,536 for consumption, rent and living costs / Switzerland: per capita €42,300

GfK has released the purchasing power data for Austria and Switzerland. Its levels vary substantially both between and within these two neighboring countries.

For Austria, the total 2016 purchasing power is approximately €193.5 bil. The latter figure corresponds to an average of €22,536 available to each Austrian for consumption, rent and living costs. For Switzerland, GfK forecasts a 2016 per-capita purchasing power of €42,300. According to the study, the total purchasing power for Switzerland in 2016 is €348.5 bil. (excluding Liechtenstein).

Purchasing power measures the available net income of the population, including government subsidies such as unemployment assistance, child benefit and pension contributions. The study illuminates the regional differences in these values.

Lower Austria is the only federal state whose purchasing power is significantly above (around four percent) the Austrian average. Vorarlberg is ranked second, closely followed by Austria, Salzburg and Vienna, all of which are just above the national average. The other federal states have below-average purchasing power. A consideration of the purchasing power per household yields some interesting insights.

Lower Austria leads again in this regard with values that exceed the national average by eight percent. Vorarlberg has a household purchasing power around seven percent above the average, followed by Burgenland. Vienna has the lowest purchasing power per household at around ten percent below the national average. This is indicative of a higher number of single-person households in Austria’s capital; in households with just a single earner, the average purchasing power per household is correspondingly lower.

More than half of Austria’s ten districts with the most purchasing power are in Vienna. Vienna’s domination of the purchasing power rankings for Austria’s districts is due not only to the area’s genuinely higher purchasing power, but also to the granular subdivision of Vienna into 23 districts.

The district „Wien 1 – Innere Stadt“ has a per-capita purchasing power of €40,217, which is 79 percent higher than the Austrian average. Second place is occupied by Vienna’s thirteenth district, Hietzing, which has around one-fourth less purchasing power.

This district has a per-capita purchasing power of approximately €30,576, which is around 36 percent above the national average. With €29,101 available per person, inhabitants of third-ranked Mödling in Lower Austria have around 29 percent more purchasing power than the national average. The city district of Eisenstadt is ranked tenth with a per-capita purchasing power around 16 percent higher than the national average.

Compared to the previous year, the discrepancy in the purchasing power between city districts and their surrounding areas has decreased in some instances. This is the case for Linz and Linz-Land, Klagenfurt and Klagenfurt-Land, Sankt Pölten and Sankt Pölten-Land as well as Eisenstadt and Eisenstadt-Umgebung.

Inhabitants of Zug – Switzerland’s most affluent canton – have 1.5 times the purchasing power of the national average. Inhabitants of the second- and third-ranked cantons, Schwyz and Nidwalden, have purchasing power levels that exceed the Swiss average by approximately 36 and 22 percent, respectively. Only seven of the 26 cantons have an above-average per-capita purchasing power, which shows that even in affluent Switzerland, there are significant regional differences in purchasing power.

The three least wealthy cantons – Glarus, Uri and Jura – have purchasing power levels between 13 and 19 percent below the Swiss average. Even so, inhabitants of the least affluent canton Jura still have €34,095 per person, which is significantly more than inhabitants of Starnberg, Germany’s district with the highest purchasing power (€31,850). But Swiss inhabitants must also pay substantially more for accommodation and food.

There is a wide distribution of purchasing power values at the district level in Switzerland’s cantons. In Schwyz – Switzerland’s second-most affluent canton – each inhabitant has an average of €57,023. But regional differences are apparent within this canton upon close inspection.

For example, inhabitants of the district of Gersau have around five percent more purchasing power than the Swiss average. But this means these inhabitants have around 30 percent less purchasing power than the canton average. Inhabitants of the district of Küssnacht have on average 45 percent more income than the Swiss average, and the average purchasing power in the district of Höfe is more than twice as high as the national average.

The purchasing power gap is smaller in canton St. Gallen, whose inhabitants have an average purchasing power of €36,905. Inhabitants of the constituency See-Gaster am Obersee have an average purchasing power of €39,130, while inhabitants of the constituency Toggenburg have only €32,731, which is ten percent below the canton average.

Due to Germany’s significantly larger population, its purchasing power of €1,776.5 bil. is many times higher than that of its previously mentioned neighbors. The average German thus has a 2016 purchasing power of €21,879.

Source: GfK

(24.04.2016, USA: 04.24.2016)