Czech Republic: Economic sentiment continues to weaken in March on more downbeat business sentiment
March 24, 2017
The economic sentiment indicator published by the Czech Statistics Office (CSO) dropped from February’s 98.0 points to 96.6 points in March, further below the 100-point average. The reading reflected a deterioration in business confidence, which more than offset a slight improvement in consumer confidence. March’s print also marked the lowest reading in eight months.
The sub-indicator of business confidence dropped in March to 94.1 points from February’s 95.9 points. The reading reflected lower sentiment in three out of the four sectors covered by the index: industry, construction and services. In the trade sector, confidence increased from the previous month’s level. In the services sector, businesses’ expectations for the general economic situation in both the next three and six months remained unchanged compared to February. In the industry and construction sectors, businesses’ expectations for both the next three and six months decreased. Regarding trade, firms’ expectations for the next three months did not change while they decreased slightly for the next six months.
Consumer confidence rose in March to 108.7 from February’s 108.2. According to the survey, households’ assessments of the economic situation in the next twelve months did not change, while their assessments of both their financial standing and unemployment prospects improved from the previous month. The share of households that declared their willingness to save money was unchanged in March, while their concern about future price increases barely changed.