Czech Republic: Economic sentiment improves for the first time in five months
August 24, 2012
The economic sentiment index published by the Czech Statistical Office edged up to 83.4 points in August from 83.2 points in July. The figure represents the first monthly improvement since March, and drove the index to levels last seen in November 2009. Nonetheless, despite the improvement, the index is 6.2 points below the level observed in the same month last year. The August improvement showed that after having reached a record-low in May, consumer confidence improved for a third consecutive month. Although consumers continue to show concerns about the general economic situation in the next 12 months, respondents to the survey revealed a less pessimistic assessment about their own financial situation compared to the previous month. In addition, the number of respondents expecting unemployment to increase remained unchanged over the previous month. Meanwhile, the business confidence indicator remained unchanged in August, ending a downward trajectory in place since April. The reading reflected how rising business confidence in services offset declining business sentiment in the industrial and trade sectors.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist