Economic outlook

High inflation and the manner in which central banks respond to this will remain a decisive factor when it comes to economic development in 2023. The European Central Bank (ECB) expects a mild recession within the eurozone at the turn of the year 2022/23 and believes that a more restrictive monetary policy is necessary to slow down dynamic price developments. Accordingly, the ECB’s cycle of interest rate hikes can be expected to continue at the beginning of the year. The central bank will also start reducing its bond holdings from the purchase programmes as of March 2023.

The Austrian National Bank (ÖNB) forecasts economic growth of 0.6 per cent for Austria in 2023 against the backdrop of globally restrictive central banks, comparatively high inflation and a sluggish recovery of the global economy. Price inflation peaked at 8.6 per cent in 2022. The ÖNB expects price pressures to ease in 2023 due to a decline in energy and commodity prices and an inflation rate of 6.5 per cent. Despite the recession, the unemployment rate is expected to rise only slightly to 6.6 per cent due to ongoing labour shortages.

Business outlook

For the 2023 financial year, UNIQA aims to continue with the improvements in its core business. However, due to the expected unstable macroeconomic development, the current 2023 financial year – just like the 2022 financial year – will be characterised by significant uncertainties, partly due to volatile capital markets, high interest rate sensitivities in the investments, uncertainty regarding the development of inflation and the generally increasing losses from natural catastrophes. These are the reasons why no outlook can be provided on the development of results in the 2023 financial year.

The dividend distribution is based on the company’s profits. UNIQA continues to plan for an attractive annual dividend distribution, despite the challenging economic and political environment.