Czech Republic: Czech economy slows somewhat in Q4; full-year 2015 growth buoyant
March 4, 2016
In Q4, the economy expanded a seasonally- and calendar-adjusted 4.0% over the same quarter of the previous year, according to more complete data released by the Czech Statistical Office (CZO) on 4 March. The reading slightly beat the flash estimate of 3.9%, but marked a slowdown compared to Q3’s strong 4.7% expansion. Q4’s still-robust increase was supported by healthy gains in all components of GDP. However, slower increases in investment and, to a lesser extent, public and private consumption partly offset an improved performance of the external sector, causing the overall pace to moderate compared to Q3. In the full-year 2015, GDP recorded an outstanding 4.3% expansion, which was the largest gain in eight years (2014: +2.0% year-on-year).
In Q4, private consumption rose 2.9% in annual terms, coming in marginally below the 3.0% increase observed in Q3. Government spending decelerated from a 4.7% rise in the third quarter, which was the largest reading since Q4 2003, to a 3.9% increase in the fourth quarter. Fixed investment growth slowed from Q3’s 9.7% to 7.9% in Q4.
On the external side of the economy, exports of goods and services quickened slightly from a 7.1% increase in Q3 to a 7.2% rise in Q4. Imports decelerated, slowing from a 7.9% increase in the third quarter to a 7.0% rise in the fourth quarter. Consequently, the net contribution from the external sector swung from minus 0.2 percentage points in Q3 to plus 0.6 percentage points in Q4.
On a sequential basis, GDP shrank a seasonally-adjusted 0.1% in Q4, contrasting Q3’s 0.7% increase.