Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average

Illustrative photo: Gerd Altmann, Pixabay / CC0

The Czech Republic is now ahead of Spain in terms of GDP per capita adjusted to purchasing power parity (PPP). At least according to the latest OECD data, which show the country ranked 27th among the organisation’s 36 member states, with Spain one place behind, news site Aktuálně reports. However, the country still ranks bellow the EU average.

Illustrative photo: Gerd Altmann,  Pixabay / CC0
The Czech Republic’s GDP per capita is now estimated to lie at USD 39,741 by the OECD. Spain’s is closely lagging behind at USD 39,711. It is the first time that the country has slipped ahead of the larger of the two Iberian states, having edged in front of Portugal’s economy in 2005.

Lukáš Kovanda, an analyst at Czech Fund, which specialises in Czech investment bonds, told Aktuálně that the Czech Republic has been closing in on Europe’s more developed states for some time already, especially those in Southern Europe, a region hit hard by the financial crash of 2008.

The fallout in East Central Europe was much smaller and it is also in this region that the Czech Republic’s per capita wealth remains the largest.

Czech per capita wealth is also edging ever closer to another Southern European state – Italy, which currently ranks four spots ahead Czechia with a GDP per capita PPP of USD 41,837.

While there is a rising tendency, it is necessary to realise that GDP per capita PPP is not a perfect indicator.

For example, it includes the volume of production which then flows out of the country in the form of dividends. In the Czech Republic a lot of wealth that is produced domestically is foreign owned.

Mr. Kovanda told Aktuálně that in terms of gross national income per capita instead of gross domestic product per capita - the Czech Republic would probably still be behind Spain.

His colleague David Brožka from Komerční banka told Aktuálně that the Czech Republic’s position was also probably helped by the rise in value of the Czech crown. Only a slight revision in statistical data could lead to the country slipping behind Spain again, he says.

Even in the GDP per capita PPP category, the Czech Republic still lags behind the EU average, which lies at USD 43,561. Similar sized “Western” states such as Austria or Belgium lie far ahead of Czechia, according to the OECD data.