Czech economy down by 0.5 per cent in Q3, after brief recovery in Q2

PRAGUE – Official figures show that the Czech economy surprisingly contracted in the third-quarter.

The 0.5 per cent quarterly fall recorded for the July to September period was wholly unexpected — the consensus in the markets was for an equivalent increase.

The Statistics Office Thursday says many sectors, including energy, construction and agriculture all saw lower output during the quarter.

The decline represents a setback for an economy that only emerged from its longest recession since the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993 in the second-quarter.

To help growth, the central bank cut its key interest rate to a record low of 0.05 per cent in November and began using foreign-exchange interventions to weaken the local currency, the koruna.