Czech Republic: Economic sentiment improves for second straight month
March 25, 2013
The economic sentiment indicator published by the Czech Statistical Office edged up to 84.4 points in March from the 84.2 points seen in February, hitting its highest level in nine months. Despite the monthly increase, the index remains 3.6 points below the level observed in the same month last year.
The monthly increase was mainly the result of an improvement in consumer confidence. In March, the consumer confidence sub-indicator rose to its highest level in 20 months, as consumers showed less pessimism about the general economic situation in the next 12 months as well as about their own financial standing. Meanwhile, consumers' assessment regarding the unemployment situation remained unchanged compared to the previous month.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants anticipate private consumption to contract 0.2% in 2013, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month's projection. For 2014, the panel sees private consumption growing 1.4%.
Meanwhile, the business confidence sub-indicator inched down in March, reflecting how a deterioration in business confidence in selected services and the trade sector more than offset and improvement in the construction sector.
Consensus Forecast participants anticipate fixed investment to drop 0.1% this year, which is down 0.3 percentage points from last month's projection. For 2014, panellists expect investment to expand 2.7%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist