Exports Lag Due To Labour Shortage

intermodal containers

Prague, Sept 6 (CTK) – The lack of workforce is the main obstacle to Czech exports, moreover, exports were influenced by company holidays in the automotive industry in July, analysts addressed by CTK said today.


Czech economy moves on the verge of its capacity so raising output is hard for export companies, they added.


According to today’s figures from the Czech Statistical Office (CSU), exports increased by 11.1 percent and imports by 12.2 percent year on year in July.


Economists point at the fact that July this year had one working day more than last year. For this reason, the yr/yr growth in exports and imports is no big surprise.


“Demand from foreign markets grows constantly [even when at a slower pace] but our economy has limited sources. For many large exporting producers, out country is, to put it simply, small,” said Raiffeisenbank analyst Jakub Cervenka.


He expects the growth in exports to move only closely above zero in the coming months.


According to the Association of Exporters, the figures show clearly that the growth of Czech exports has hit the ceiling.


“It is limited mainly by the lack of employees on the labour market. On the other hand, it is being boosted moderately by the weakening crown with its exchange rate oscillating around Kc25.70/EUR,” association deputy chairman Otto Danek said.


Czech trade ended in a Kc4.8bn deficit in July and there was a gap last year in July as well. Vaclav France of Deloitte consulting company thinks that July’s deficit is only a seasonal factor.


“Many plants from the manufacturing industry had company holidays, it was reflected in exports which dropped by 0.6 percent against June. There should be a surplus again in August,” he remarked.


Higher investment activity and larger consumer appetite can be seen on the side of imports, said Viktor Zeisel of Komercni banka.


“Yesterday’s [Wednesday] retail trade statistics also confirmed this. Overall, we thus expect that trade surplus this year will be lower than last year and net exports will contribute negatively to this year’s economic growth,” he added.


Deloitte analysts expect a Kc116bn trade surplus this year.