Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Czech economy sharply declines in second quarter

Prague Daily Monitor |
31 July 2020

PRAGUE - The Czech economy likely reached a record decline in the second quarter but is already recovering, according to a Lidovky report. Economists estimate that the economy declined between 9.7 and 18 percent in comparison to last year. A final conclusion about the decline of economic activity in the second quarter will be published by The Czech Statistical Office on July 31.

“It is clear that due to the coronavirus pandemic and the consequences of restrictive measures against its spread, the year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter economic downturn will be unprecedented and historically highest,” said top ING economist, Jakub Seidler.

Industry, as well as sectors closely associated with tourism, such as transport, hospitality and accommodation, have contributed most significantly to the sharp decline in growth, according to Lidovky. The losses in the second quarter could total around 180 billion crowns, and the government has injected about 120 billion crowns to maintain relative stability.

Martin Gürtler, an economist at Komerční banka, said one positive indication of economic resurgence was that the state received more in value-added taxes (VAT) in May and June than was previously expected.

The coronavirus pandemic has devastated economic activity worldwide. The World Bank projects a world-wide decline in GDP of 5.2 percent in 2020, making it the worst global recession in many decades. Europe faces a decline of 4.7 percent in GDP. Projections do not include the possibility of resurgence of the virus this fall.