Czech Republic: Economic sentiment reaches three-year high
March 24, 2014
The economic sentiment indicator published by the Czech Statistical Office (CSO) rose from 91.2 points in February to 92.4 points in March. The reading reflected higher confidence among business and consumers. As a result of the increase, the index moved closer to the 100-point long-term average. Business confidence reached the highest level since October 2011, reflecting increased confidence in the industrial sector and in services. Business confidence regarding trade was unchanged, while it decreased in construction. FocusEconomics panelists see fixed investment increasing 1.7% in 2014, which is up 0.3 percentage points from last month's projection. For 2015, panelists expect investment to expand 3.2%. Confidence among consumers increased notably in March, reflecting households' more optimistic views regarding the country's overall economic situation for the next 12 months as well as their future financial situations. In addition, consumers' views on the future conditions in the labor market improved over the previous month. FocusEconomics panelists expect private consumption to expand 0.9% in 2014, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month's projection. For 2015, the panel sees private consumption growing 1.6%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist