VIENNA - Austria's current account balance swung to a deficit in 2021 for the first time in 20 years as coronavirus-related travel restrictions hurt tourism badly and Austrian investments abroad grew, the Austrian National Bank (ONB) said on Friday.
The country recorded a current account deficit of 2.1 billion euros ($2.2 billion), or 0.5% of gross domestic product, a sharp swing from a surplus of 7.2 billion euros in 2020, the year the pandemic and restrictions aimed at slowing it began in Europe.
The pandemic's impact on the global economy "severely affected" Austrian trade in 2021, ONB Vice Governor Gottfried Haber said in a statement, adding that many problems remain.
"Disrupted supply chains, rising energy prices and volatile markets will continue to affect Austria's economy in the immediate future as well, as will the unforeseeable consequences of the war in Ukraine," he said.
($1 = 0.9528 euros)
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Hugh Lawson)