Czechia saw sharpest economic downturn in its history in 2020

Illustrative photo: Oleg Gamulinskij, Pixabay / CC0

The Czech economy experienced the biggest drop in the history of the independent Czech Republic, the Czech News Agency reported on Tuesday. According to a fresh estimate by the Czech Statistics Office, the country’s Gross Domestic Product fell by 5.6 percent in 2020.

Nevertheless, the Czech Republic’s GDP slightly increased in the last quarter of 2020, by 0.3%, compared to the previous quarter.

"The development in the last quarter was affected by an increase in foreign demand. Domestic demand, in particular household consumption, fell sharply. Annually, this is the largest drop in GDP in the country’s contemporary history,” said Vladimír Kermiet, one of the section heads of the Czech Statistics Office.

Year-on-year, the Czech economy weakened every quarter last year. In the second quarter, GDP fell by more than 10 percent, according to previously published data by the Czech Statistics Office. The overall decline for last year is lower than estimated by experts.

Analysts contacted by the Czech News Agency expected that the Czech economy would weaken by six to seven percent for the whole of 2020.

According to analyst Martin Gürtler quoted by the Czech News Agency, "the figures for the Czech Republic have improved thanks to the lifting of certain restrictive measures before Christmas, which allowed a growth of turnover in shops and services".