The Czech government and central bank have announced further measures to offset the impact of the coronavirus on large firms, small businesses and households. While economic growth is certain to drop steeply in the near term, the authorities and experts note this country is better prepared than most to weather the storm.
The European Commission has predicted a slowdown in the Czech economy. The Commission’s winter forecast sees GDP growth falling to 2.1 percent this year, compared to 2.6 percent last year. Next year it is expected to accelerate to 2.2 percent. According to the European Commission, last year’s growth was driven mainly by domestic demand, with household consumption fuelled by growing salaries. Industrial production significantly dropped in the second half of 2019, which had a negative effect on company investments.
The Czech economy grew at a healthy pace, the country’s unemployment rate is at the lowest in decades, wage growth remained solid and inflation stayed under control. By most measures, 2019 was a good year for the country, former central bank governor Miroslav Singer says. But he cautions that while the Czech Republic has caught with some Western European countries in purchasing power, it has neglected investment in infrastructure for the long haul.
Czech economic growth in the 3rd quarter has slowed to 2.5 percent
year-on-year, according to data released by the Czech Statistics Office.
Compared to the 2nd quarter GDP rose by 0.4 percent.
Analysts say this confirms the predicted slow-down in economic growth, although compared to the situation in Germany, the Czech Republic’s main export destination, the Czech figures are still viewed as positive.
Economic growth in 2018 reached 2.9 percent and the prediction for this year is 2.5 percent.
The European Commission on Thursday revised its outlook for Czech economic
growth for this year. In the newly released macro-economic forecast it sees
the country’s gross domestic product growth falling to 2.5 percent.
The report expects growth next year to reach 2.2 percent. Earlier this year it predicted a figure of 2.5 percent for 2020.
The international rating agency Moody's Investors Service has
downgraded its outlook for the Czech banking sector from positive to
stable. The change is mainly due to the slowdown in the country’s
economic growth, the Czech News Agency reports. Moody’s said on Monday
that after years of rapid loan growth, it expects a slight deterioration in
the quality of its loan portfolio in the Czech Republic.
The New York-based bond credit rating business continues to see the country’s credit rating as one of the best in Central and Eastern Europe, but it expects Czech GDP growth to decelerate from last year’s 2.9 percent to 2.7 percent this year, with a further 0.2 percent decrease in 2020.
Trust in the Czech economy experienced a slight increase in August according to the results of a monthly survey conducted by the Czech Statistics Office released on Monday. The rise is particularly thanks to greater optimism in the trade and services sectors. However, industry trust remains at a six year low and consumer trust has decreased.