The Czech economy contracted in the first quarter as global coronavirus pandemic weighed on foreign demand and capital formation, preliminary data from the Czech Statistical Office showed Friday.
Gross domestic product fell 2.2 percent on a yearly basis in the first quarter, in contrast to fourth quarter’s 2 percent expansion. Economists had forecast a 2.3 percent annual fall in the first quarter.
On a quarterly basis, GDP dropped 3.6 percent. Economists had a 3.5 percent contraction after expanding 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter.
Data showed that external demand and capital formation provided negative contribution to GDP, while increasing government spending had a positive influence.
Further, data showed that employment remained unchanged in the first quarter from the preceding quarter. Compared to last year, employment was down 0.5 percent.
Today’s figure is more consistent with those forecasts calling for the Czech economy to fall by less than 10 percent this year, economists at ING said. The sequential fall in the second quarter will most likely be in the double-digit range, they noted.