Czech Republic: Economic growth accelerates at fastest pace in nearly three years
May 15, 2014
In the first quarter, GDP increased a seasonally- and calendar-adjusted 2.0% over the same quarter last year, according to a preliminary estimate released by Czech Statistics Office (CZO) on 15 May. The reading marked an acceleration compared to the 1.2% expansion registered in the fourth quarter and was the fastest pace that has been recorded since the second quarter of 2011. Nonetheless, the print fell short of the 2.4% increase the markets had expected. More complete and detailed data will be released on 4 June.
According to the CZO, the expansion in GDP was driven by an improvement in the external sector, strong growth in private consumption and a rebound in fixed investment. On a production basis, manufacturing output spurred economic growth.
Sequential data, however, do not confirm the acceleration recorded in the annual figures; GDP growth was flat over the previous quarter in Q1. The print came in well below the 1.8% expansion registered in Q4.
The Czech National Bank expects the economy to expand 2.2% in 2014. For 2015, the Bank sees economic growth picking up to 2.8%. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the economy to expand 2.1% in 2014, which is up 0.1 percentage points over the previous month's projection. For 2015, the panel sees GDP increasing 2.5%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist