The Czech economy contracted by 2.1 percent year on year in the first quarter of this year. Compared to the last quarter of last year, the gross domestic product fell by 0.3 percent. The economic downturn is more modest than analysts expected.
Their estimates assumed that the economy fell by about three percent year on year in the first quarter and by about one percent quarter on quarter due to persistent anti-pandemic restrictions. The CZSO will announce more precise data on the development of the economy in the first quarter on 1 June. Analysts described the data on the development of the economy as positive. According to them, they also show a significant resilience of companies and entrepreneurs.
The statisticians for the first estimate do not publish exact values of economic development. Vladimír Kermiet from the CZSO stated that the tightened anti-epidemic measures led to a further decline in household consumption expenditure in a quarter-on-quarter comparison. Foreign demand also contributed to the fall, with record exports of goods not being maintained compared to the end of last year.
In the fourth quarter of last year, GDP fell by 4.8 percent year on year but rose by 0.6 percent compared to the third quarter. For the whole of last year, the Czech economy fell by 5.6 percent.
The coronavirus epidemic began to affect the Czech economy in the first quarter of last year. The first cases of the epidemic appeared in the country on 1 March. Then in March, the state began to introduce restrictions on trade, services, or movement of people. In the first quarter of last year, the economy fell by 1.8 percent year on year, the worst decline was evident in the second quarter, by more than a tenth. The year-on-year decline also followed in the third and fourth quarters.
Also, in the quarter-on-quarter comparison, the worst second quarter was last year, when the economy fell by 8.7 percent compared to the first quarter. In the third and fourth quarters, GDP increased quarter on quarter.