Czech economy slows despite increase in consumer spending

The Czech economy slowed last year despite an increase in consumer spending, Czech Radio reported on Tuesday citing new preliminary figures released by the Czech Statistical Office. According to the bureau, economic growth slowed to 2.3 percent of GDP; a year earlier it was double that amount, 4.6 percent. In Q4 alone, growth stagnated at 0.2 percent year-on-year.

Photo: Steve Buissinne, Pixabay / CC0 Public DomainPhoto: Steve Buissinne, Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain According to analysts, the Czech economy last year benefitted from household consumption and foreign trade. Both domestic and foreign demand was a key factor, not least in the field of industrial production, with the exception of the construction sector, which was less effective than a year earlier, according to the Czech Statistical Office. And overall, growth was the weakest in the last three years. In 2015, it grew by 4.6 percent, in 2014 by 2.7. The years 2013 and 2012 were marked by a weakening of overall growth.

The results for last year were lower than what had been forecast by experts. Analysts approached by the Czech News Agency, for example, had predicted an overall annual result of 2.5 percent, and a far better result for Q4, of 0.8 percent. GDP is a monetary measure of the market value of all final goods and services produced in a period (be it quarterly or yearly), and Czech Radio noted that the early or preliminary estimate would still be tweaked later according to additional data.

By comparison, last tear neighbouring Germany, according to available figures, experienced economic growth of 1.9 percent, beating a 1.8 percent median estimate.