Monetary policy is the key responsibility of the independent European System of Central Banks (ESCB) / Eurosystem. The primary objective of monetary policy, according to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) establishing the European Community, is to maintain price stability in the euro area. Under its monetary policy strategy, the Eurosystem has published a quantitative definition of price stability and defined the analytical framework (economic analyses including projections; monetary analyses) on which the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) relies in its monetary policy decision-making process. The decisions thus taken are implemented decentrally by the national central banks (NCBs) of the euro area, on the basis of an operational framework of instruments and procedures designed for that purpose. As a member of the Governing Council of the ECB, the Governor of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) is closely involved in the Eurosystem’s monetary policy decisions. As a rule, the Governor is not bound by any instructions in the decision-making process.
By providing a range of economic analyses, the OeNB, more specifically its Economic and Analysis Section, supports the Governor in taking informed monetary policy decisions. Principally, these analyses focus on assessing price and economic activity developments and the factors driving such developments. Another key focus of the OeNB’s analytical work is the performance of the Austrian economy (with the OeNB, naturally, serving as the expert on Austrian issues within the ESCB). In addition, the OeNB publishes regular forecasts for Austria, namely an economic outlook (in six-month intervals) and a forecast of the short-term indicator (in three-month intervals). Moreover, the OeNB continually produces analyses on inflation, financial stability, fiscal policy, structural policy and labor market issues, as well as international comparisons.
Given the prime importance of Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries for both the Austrian economy and the stability of the Austrian financial market, the OeNB monitors and analyzes the integration process in this area particularly closely. In this field, the OeNB is able to draw on the expertise contained in country reports and a wide range of academic papers produced, among other things, for its publication Focus on European Economic Integration. Last but not least, the OeNB supports the CEE area through technical cooperation projects and as a sponsor of the Joint Vienna Institute (JVI).
On the following pages, readers will also find information on the various institutions with which the OeNB cooperates internationally, details on its economic publications and events (conferences and workshops), a summary of the responsibilities of the Economic Analysis and Research Department and some information on the staff working in this Section.