Czech industrial production dips slightly in May but foreign trade surplus grows

Photo: Marián Birošík, Public Domain

The Czech Republic’s year-on-year industrial production figures grew by 3.2 percent in May, 0.1 percent less than in the previous month, according to figures released by the Czech Statistics Office on Monday. The main drivers of growth were the automobile industry, as well as plastic and energy production. The country’s foreign trade surplus experienced a year-on-year rise of CZK 17.2 billion, reaching CZK 24.4 billion.

Photo: Marián Birošík,  Public Domain
While year-on-year growth of Czech industrial output was registered by statisticians in May, its size slowed down by one tenth of a percentage point compared with April, when growth was at 3.3 percent.

Automobile production registered a rise in growth of 6.9 percent compared to May 2018 and maintained its role as the traditional main driver of the Czech economy.

Plastic producers fared particularly well, seeing their industrial output grow by 13.1 percent, while the energy sector grew by 6.1 percent.

However, some Czech industries saw their production values sink. Iveta Danišová from the Czech Statistics Office told the Czech News Agency that beverage and machine producers saw their growth numbers go down, as did the mining sector.

The construction industry, one of the main drivers of growth during the winter months, saw year-on-year growth rise by 8.7 percent. However, statistician Petra Cuřínová, who specialises in the sector, was not as optimistic in her analysis, saying that the numbers were largely the result of a strong base which was established last year.

When it comes to the construction of flats for example, the number that started being built in May 2019 was 12.3 percent lower than in the same month in the previous year. Meanwhile, the amount of finished apartments went down by over a quarter in year-on-year figures.

One area of the economy which saw a significant increase in May was the country’s foreign trade surplus, which profited largely thanks to larger sales of transport vehicles sector and in the chemical sector.

Overall export grew by 8.1 percent in May, reaching CZK 332.5 billion. Imports also grew, but not enough to affect the large high surplus.

Václav Franče from Deloitte told the Czech News Agency that the growth in automobile exports is mainly behind the strong numbers. It certainly was, both in terms of year-on-year statistics, where exports grew by 19 percent, as well as when compared to April, when exports were 9 percent lower.

The Czech Republic’s export surplus with the European Union grew to CZK 70.5 billion in May. Meanwhile the numbers of exported were slightly lower to the United Kingdom compared to May 2018 and increased to Turkey.